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Published: December 23rd 2010
So on Tuesday evening Mark arrived here after over 24 hours of travelling. Yay! So glad he flew from Birmingham not Heathrow! Jamie kindly gave me a lift to the airport to pick him up & we were there with a big sign & santa hats to ensure he didn't miss us! 😉
Yesterday I took him for a stroll around Auckland city centre - we saw some pretty ships at the harbour & had a tasty (& rather larger than expected) lunch by the water front. I also found out that Virgin Colada (like Pina Colada but no rum) is very tasty, especially on a hot day! We then went to see Tron: Legacy at the local cinema which wasn't bad but I don't feel it really added much more than the original - although the dog fight was pretty cool! On the way back to the hostel we stopped off for iced drinks (hmmm... iced chocolate!)
& stopped off for iced drinks on the way home.
Today I had booked something special for us... We set off to Kelly Tarlton's
, an aquarium built in an old underground sewage tank place. We were booked onto the 11am Shark Cage Dive
(aka carpet shark)
with a father & daughter (I think) & 2 young kids we got into wetsuits (with the usual hilarity this involves) & were taken to one of the two shark tanks. Here we were given a brief safety talk (do NOT stick your hand out of the cage, do NOT touch a shark, do NOT leave the cage!), masks & snorkles & into the cage we jumped. It was a wide, shallow floating cage with mesh sides & a clear floor. The cage was moved out & around the tank allowing us to see the small School Sharks below us, the larger Broadnose Sevengill Sharks which came very close many times, a huge Stingray that kept swimming beneath the cage & even a large Wobbegong resting in a corner! I think these latter are awesome! I was worried it would all be rather tacky but we had a great time! Definitly worth it. We also got to see a few things behind the scenes, such as the other shark tank from above & a couple of sea turtles, one of which was only a year or so old! Hopefully it will be fit enough to return to the wild when
Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic hut
(established back in 1911) - Replica obviously!
We then had lunch & wandered around the rest of the aquarium seeing stonefish & scorpion fish, sea horses, giant crayfish, plecos (larger versions of our Alan), more sting rays & the sharks again from beneath & lots more. They have a circuit of shark tunnels through the two tanks with a moving conveyorbelt if you are too lazy to walk! We also saw some Sand Tiger Sharks at the bottom of the tank we didn't go in.
We then strolled along to Misson Bay & had ice creams before heading back to get the free shuttle from Kelly Tarltson's into town. Unfortunately it was full so we got a normal bus back wich stops nearer to the hostel anyway. Mark is now having an afternoon doze, not sure this is the best way to get over jetlag but he insists that since he has an afternoon nap at home suring the summer it will be ok. I should wake him soon though for supper.
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