Yesterday we walked but today it was back to the hop on/hop off bus to see more of Auckland.
While walking around yesterday we had found a bus stop close to the Sky Tower so we walked there and waited only 5mins for a bus. At 300m the Tower is the highest structure in the Southern Hemisphere and is visible from all over Auckland.
We went to the next stop which was at the Harbour, a most interesting place. There was a Maritime Museum, a bridge which could be raised to allow tall boats to access and return from the harbour and a Visitors’ Centre with a lot of interesting information on the Harbour and its history. We had started out in beautiful weather but it rained on and off during the day. One of the heaviest falls was while we were at the Harbour and had to rush to the Visitors’ Centre for shelter. It lasted about 10mins but it left a lot of deep puddles.
One of 2 bridges at the harbour
Bridge raised for the yacht to pass
We had the privilege of seeing the bridge get raised for a yacht with a very high mast and we visited the Maritime Museum which was fairly good though aimed more at children. Our bus ticket included a ferry ride to Devonport Island which took just 5min. Unlike in Sydney, this trip went unhindered. Devonport is the home of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
We spent quite a lot of time walking around the fascinating island which includes a mountain on top of which is a replica of that used during WW2 which was used to ward off Japanese ships. There were a variety of designs of buildings, a few little statues and a very nice park where we rested and ate our lunch.
Fountain in the park where we ate lunch
War Memorial and Public Library
Bronze Fish in a pool
We took the ferry back to the mainland and caught the bus to the Rose Garden. An absolutely beautiful garden with almost 1000 rose plants and most were in bloom. The bus stopped on one side of the garden where we entered. As we walked around we came to the main gate which was simple but attractive.
Entrance to the Rose Garden
Nancy Green Memorial Garden
Some of the beds of Roses
The Holy Trinity Cathedral where we stopped next had an interesting story. St Mary’s Cathedral was built in 1886 as an Anglican Church and served as the Anglican Cathedral of the northern area of the North Island until 1973 when the current building was built on the opposite side of the road began to be built and came into use in 1986. Instead of demolishing the smaller building it was moved across the road and stands beside the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. It is still used on some special occasions.
St Mary’s Cathedral
Entrance to Holy Trinity Cathedral
..Sculpture in front of the Cathdrea
We passed Eden Garden and Auckland Grammar School from which dozens of children were departing. When we arrived at the stop where one could climb up a fairly steep hill to get some lovely views of Auckland Harbour and Devonport Island. I walked just half way up the hill but Trevor walked right to the top and described the experience as quite beautiful, worth the walk. I took a path towards the city and also had a great experience. My view included a very clear one of Devonport and having spent time there earlier it was fun to find the places we had seen while there.
Grammar School children crossing the road
The bus took us to the top of another hill where the War Memorial Museum was situated. It was a huge building with some of the most interesting memorabilia. It was here that one changed buses to either go into town or out to the places we had already visited.
War Memorial & Museum
We took the bus into town where we alighted at the Sky Tower, excellent decision. To us it seemed better than the Sydney Tower as it had 2 viewing levels and the windows were at an angle which gave really beautiful views of the buildings close to the Tower.
View from the Sky Tower
View from the Sky Tower
As we walked back to the hotel we agreed that it was spectacular way to finish a very busy but fun day until we got back to the hotel and found that there was still no hot water.