Friday, 21 March 2014

A Day in Auckland

Yesterday was spent in Auckland, and overnight we've cruised to Tauranga, the main city in the Bay of Plenty region. Actually, the port is at Mt Maunganui, 4 kms out of town. Again, I'm availing myself of the free internet!  In the meantime, here's a report from yesterday.

After a wander around the marina area at Auckland (coffee etc!) and availing myself of the 30 minutes free wi-fi in the area, I set off to walk to the Parnell Road area. I'd heard of this but had not previously been here. Quite a few interesting shops for those that way inclined, but what swept me off my feet was the Holy Trinity Cathedral complex (Anglican), consisting of St Mary's Church (a great Gothic revival timber building) and a relatively recent , modern cathedral with some most impressive modern stained glass and a nice ambiance (although an appeal is being run at present to raise funds for enhancements).

Women's suffrage window
After that I walked through the Auckland domain, which has some pleasant forest walks, past the Auckland War Memorial museum to return to town. I baulked at paying the admission fee of $25 for the museum, as the afternoon was getting on – and I wasn't impressed by the fact that the charge is levied only on people who don't have a New Zealand address (if you do, you're only asked for a donation)!
Apart from that note, the mood has been very welcoming. Twice, I merely paused to think about directions and I was asked if I needed assistance. Leaving the ship, the local security guard – of all people said, “Welcome”. And although there's a security and ID check to re-board the ship (drivers licence quite adequate, in fact preferred!), passports aren't required either to go on land or to re-board. Is the fact that everyone on board the ship has come from Australia (even though they may not be Australians) sufficient?

St Mary's

Interior of original St Mary's,  wooden Gothic

Exterior,  original St Mary's

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