A rainy day in Auckland, it's all about sheep and wine

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland
December 2nd 2007
Published: January 10th 2008
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After saying goodbye to our guide, Robert, Alan and I exchange the sunny South Island weather for a rainy weekend in Auckland. We are meeting a group of cruisers that we know from the internet. On Monday, we board the Regent ship, Mariner, for the trip back to Los Angeles.

Our rooms at the Sky City Hotel offer a central location in the heart of Auckland. Since this is our second visit here, Alan and I spend the first day catching up on sleep and resting from our South Island adventure.

What do you do in Auckland when the weather is rainy? Visit sheep. Drink wine.

Today, joining friends in a two-van convoy, we travel 45 minutes north of Auckland to Sheep World, home of “New Zealand’s premier farm experience." What started out as a misty day soon turns into a downpour.

After purchasing tickets in the gift store, we enter the barn where the show has just started. After a brief explanation, our guide leads the group outside to show us the various kinds of sheep on the farm. Who knew that there were so many different kinds? Soon, the dogs display their skills, herding and moving the sheep, while we watch from underneath umbrellas as the rain continues to fall.

Back inside, the emcee, who is very funny and a natural entertainer, demonstrates sheep shearing. Afterwards, the members of the audience have the opportunity to feed baby sheep. Since so many volunteer, we share the bottles of milk as the babies tug forcefully for their food.

After the show, we drive through pouring rain to Ransom Winery for a wine and cheese tasting where our hostess is not prepared for such a fun group of tasters.

Later, we dine at Sky City’s revolving restaurant, Orbit. Our travel agent, Ngaire, and her husband, Ken, are hosting a dinner for our group of cruisers. As the restaurant revolves, offering changing views of Auckland’s skyline, we enjoy the delicious food while greeting old travel friends and meeting others that we only know through our favorite internet cruise forum.

Tomorrow, our sea adventure begins as we make our way from Auckland to Los Angeles.

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