Had an early start from Napier for the 8 hour cramped bus journey to Auckland, a long trip not helped by the worlds grumpiest driver and arrived at the very budget but very central Formula1 hotel.
The following morning I had a 1.5h harbour cruise which was fine but didnt see anything that I wouldnt have on the cheaper ferry trips, but did meet a few people on the boat. The Davenport ferry was included in the cost of the cruise, so went there in the afternoon and climbed the two volcanoes, had a good walk around, and picked up an extra book to read in Fiji.
Got a ferry over to Rangitoto Island the next day, where there are no shops or cafes but just a much higher volcano. The two hour walk to get to the summit was great and very peaceful, although a few more signs would have reassured me that I wasnt getting hopelessly lost (like I ever do.....!). Like Davenport, the views at the top were fantastic. In the evening I got the bus over to the Super14 Rugby at Eden Park and saw the local team, the Blues beat the Bulls (from South Africa I think) 23-21 in an exciting game.
On Sunday I went to Waitomo, a long way for just an hour in the fascinating limestone caves with thousands of glowworms, and also had a very very short boat ride. Wasn't really worth the 5 hour round-trip, if you stay there you have time to do some adventure sports and I should probably have done that and lost a couple of days in Auckland.
Following morning I met Sally (friend from football) and despite dodgy weather we got the ferry over to Davenport for lunch and then I booked my resort in the Cook Islands. The rain stopped us climbing a volcano so we had a look around the Auckland shops instead, Sally buying heaps. In the evening I met a couple of Sally's friends and we had a top meal in the revolving skytower restauarant.
On Tuesday we met again and went to the acquarium/artic adventure, what they had there was good but in comparison to other places it seemed very small, penguins were sweet though! We went over to Davenport for a disasterous lunch, still frozen fish for Sally, and then headed back to the Skytower and Sally started her trip home, which she wasnt looking forward to. It was fun to have met up.
This morning I'm just hanging around for a few hours and have a flight to Fiji this evening, hopefully better weather than the rain of the last couple of days.