Blogs from Auckland, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland March 29th 2020

The blog has been on my to-so-list for a while, I just haven't had the head space to write since we moved. I started the blog to keep in contact with friends and family in NZ when we went to Sri Lanka on our 1 year contract to help with Tsunami relief in September 2005. I was suppose to do a prayer newsletter once a month, the blog felt a bit more like me :) This is the 176th blog (Gibraltar still to do), 15 years, 3 kids, 3 agencies, 5 countries of residence, and I don't know how many countries Murray has been too. I've lost count! I have struggled to sit and reflect on our transition back to NZ and finish off the blog. It seems odd to finally have space and time during ... read more
Sky city in the background
Auckland viaduct, near Murray's new work
Found a silver fern on a bush walk

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland March 21st 2020

Auckland is a large busy city. They have finally decided to put an underground metro in so there are road works all over the place which are going to take several years to complete. It has a large Asian community as well as Maori so there are lots of take away cafes catering for these people. For the first time we also saw several homeless on the streets. However down on the Marina , once you have negotiated the road works there are some great restaurants. We had tried Oyster & Chop so the next night went to Soul and had great oysters and crab linguini. On our last day we decided to go up the Sky Tower. It costs about 20$ each just to go to the viewing platform. A far better deal is to ... read more
In Sky Tower restaurant Orbit
View from Orbit restaurant
Looking up

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland March 18th 2020

It was very sad to leave the ship in Auckland and know that no passengers were going to be boarding and the majority of the crew would be sent home because of this coronavirus. We were the last cruise ship allowed into New Zealand before the total ban. We checked into the Hotel Grand Windsor on Queens St, which is a lovely hotel on one of the busiest streets in the city close to all amenities. Our first trip out was to the Art Gallery, which has a nice small section of International Art but is mostly New Zealand Art. We both love aboriginal art but I am afraid that Maori Art doesn't do anything for us. We fancied a Chinese meal for lunch as Auckland has a very large Asian population. We made the mistake ... read more
Dinner in Oyster & Chop
Holy Trinity Cathedral- new bit
Holy Trinity -old bit

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central February 29th 2020

Leaving Paihia, we dawdled down the beautiful coast back to Auckland. All along the coast are wonderful vistas either at. sea level or from the heights above, and the coast is replete with wide sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. As in all places in New Zealand, tramping trails abound. We took some time working our way back to Auckland, since we had little desire to do anything there other than see the wonderful museum with its Maori treasures. The Auckland Museum surmounts a hill in the large park called the Auckland Domain, occupying an old volcanic crater. The park includes tree-lined drives, walking trails, and a glass-enclosed botanical garden, and occupies 75 hectares (185 acres) just southeast of the main downtown area of Auckland. The park was established in 1843, and the Auckland War Memorial Museum ... read more
Coastland north of Auckland
Maori sailing vessel
Large Maori war canoe

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Takanini February 18th 2020

NZ 2020 Bits and pieces. It’s been ten days since I got home and still feeling the effects of jet lag. A word about the flights. No matter how you fly, these flights are killers. One thing I noticed when landing in LA from NZ was how grumpy the people were. Grumpy and rude. The people I came in contact with in NZ couldn’t have been nicer, more friendly and helpful. From the woman pushed my chair to the wait staff at the hotel to the port personnel, smiles were everywhere. Contrast to LA where I felt I was putting everyone out. Just doing their job seemed a burdensome chore. Also the difference between the Auckland airport and LAX is striking. It seems like we are becoming a third world country. One thing stood out was ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland January 23rd 2020

Málokdo z nás Čechů by si pomyslel, že na tak vzdáleném místě jako je Nový Zéland by mohlo existovat místo osídlené našimi předky. A opravdu je tomu tak. V 19. století se nedaleko Aucklandu usídlili Češi z okolí Plzně a sudetských oblastí. Dostali zde půdu, která však byla dost nehostinná a tak osada dostala název Puhoi ("bahno, bláto"). I tak si to tu vychvalovali a lákali sem své příbuzné a známé, aby sem také přijeli. Po krátké zastávce v Puhoi jsme jeli obdivovat krásy Aucklandu, největšího novozélandské města. Dominantu města tvoří věž zvaná Skytower měřící 328 m. Kam jinam bych se tedy měla jít podívat, vždyť přeci vůbec nemám strach z výšek a prosklených podlah :-). Ten výhled opravdu stojí za to, co myslíte? Konečně se po nějaké době můžu pochlubit fotkou nějakého jídla. Doposud jsem ... read more
Auckland - Sky Tower
Pohled ze Sky Tower
Fish&chips po novozélandsku

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland January 21st 2020

Off on an adventure Sort of. Most of the roads in downtown Auckland are torn up which makes walking or driving a challenge. Instead of going walk-about I decided to experience High Tea. There was a large assortment of teas, I chose the Elderberry and Apple infusion, four finger sandwiches; salmon, egg salad, ham & cheese and a chicken curry puff. I don’t do curry. There were three mini scones with clotted cream and an assortment of mini pastries. All were delicious. I decided to take a short nap before deciding on dinner. Thirteen hours later, at five am., sleeping beauty awoke refreshed and ready to go. But I couldn’t head for the port till around noon. So I headed to the business center to print out my luggage tag. For an Apple user Microsoft was ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland January 18th 2020

We will land in 2 hours. I have been on the road (or in the air) for twenty-seven hours now. The Pacific Crossing is always bumpy but the Captan was avoiding a cyclone and we rocked and rolled for hours. I treated myself to Business Class and am I ever glad. I was given Star Lounge privileges and spent my six hour lay over nursing a glass of wine, too tired to eat. They had a large buffet and the folks were sure enjoying it. By the time I boarded in LA, I was almost comatose so I skipped the drink and the meal a snuggled into my flat bed. I got a good eight hours sleep despite the rough ride. I may not get to do it again but I was sure glad I did ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Devonport December 25th 2019

We had booked an appartment trough Airbnb to shake off the jet lag. Rather than staying down town Auckland, we headed to the North Shore where the pace is slow, beaches are nice and everything was chill. Devonport was the perfect place for that. We had o two bedroom apportment 150 m. away from the beach in a scenic surburb with beautiful houses, water surrounding us and the most amazing views everytwhere you look. The most important thing was trying to turn night into day and day into night. 2nd day we more or less got up at 3am. Yikes! Apart from that one night, both Ollie and Alba were awesome. The good thing about travelling with children is that your own discomfort by sitting down for 24 hours on a fligt, or being tired at ... read more
Beach time
Breakfast
Cheltenham beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central December 5th 2019

I've had some emotions yesterday. I arrived, was completely and utterly exhausted, and started thinking about my situation. I already missed my family and friends, and I didn't know what to do with myself. They are half a world and a few timezones away; when I'm awake, they are asleep, and that doesn't make anything easier. I felt very much alone - even though I know it's ridiculous. After all, I'm staying in a room full of people going through the exact same thing as me. Today we had our first workshop, and that rekindled my excitement to be here. After that, we went out for lunch; we went to a pizza place, and I had some beer. I couldn't help but think of the last time I had pizza and beer - Sunday evening before ... read more




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