Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Top 10 Things About Our New Zealand Trip: #8

To read our earlier posts from our countdown, click one of these: #10 and #9.

#8- Auckland Waterfront

One of the nice things about where we stayed in New Zealand was its location. It was in the heart of the city of Auckland and only about a 10 minute walk to the Auckland waterfront on Waitemata Harbour. One of the more popular spots in Auckland is the Viaduct basin. Made of businesses and upscale restaurants and apartments, it is frequented by both the locals and tourists. We enjoyed eating very yummy food here- we just needed to remember to bring jackets for after the sun went down because it got cold in the evenings by the water!

While we were in Auckland, we thought of everything as the Viaduct area but really it was one section of many along the Auckland waterfront. To the west was the Westhaven Marina and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Here is a picture from the web of the bridge w/ a view of Auckland in the background (if you like, you can visit & bungy jump off- we did not like):

To the east of the Viaduct is Princes wharf, which is primarily shops and hotels. Further east lies the Auckland CBD (Central business district), which includes the ferry terminal and Queens Wharf (for large container ships).

The ferry terminal is where you can catch a boat to go to the north shore or any of the small island close by. In fact, we took ferries to go to both Rangitoto and Waiheke islands- but more on that in a later posts as we continue to count down. We also saw several cruise ships come and go during our time there. You don’t realize how huge they are until you see them that close up!

We were amazed how calm the water was- there were hardly any waves! There are a couple of reasons for that. The primary one being that there are 2 barrier islands to the north, aptly named Little Barrier Island and Great Barrier Island, that block the large ocean waves from coming into the Hauraki Gulf. (You can click here to see a map.) The second reason has to do with the city's nickname- Auckland is known as the "City of Sails" and as you may expect most of the boats we saw were sailboats, which create little to no wake.

Below are some pictures of the Westhaven Marina, the largest yacht marina in the southern hemisphere. It will give you a sense of how many sailboats there are (you'll notice the Auckland Harbour Bridge in a few of the pics):


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing....makes you want to be there.


Jeanelle said...

I would love to sail on a sail boat! How beautiful!