Phew! Here at Last. After a tiring 2 day journey from Millom I'm finally in Auckland. I arrived at 1130am to a fine clear day of 16 degrees. The immigration process was probably the most stringent I've experienced! I was required to declare my camping equipment and the small items of food (herbs and stuff) I had brought in. I then had to strip my tent apary and the immigration staff cleand my tent pegs because there was muck on them!
Once outside I jumped into a shuttle bus that took me down town. I was sat next to a Dutch couple and the guy would insist on trying to strike up a conversation even though I couldn't be bothered because I was shattered. He did ask me if it was true that I'm the best looking Geordie Copper in Millom, to which I was forced to admit I was. I jumped out just off Queen St into the X Base Hostel and booked a room for the night at $25. I was allocated room 307 which is a 10 person dormitory. I picked a lower bunk next to the window. My room mates included 'Emil' a Swedish guy who later shared a couple of pints with me in the Hostel bar and suffered a humiliating pool defeat to the Brit! There were other backpackers there from Canada, Sweden and the UK.
On Monday 13th I had a wander around Auckland and went up Sky Tower which is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere at 324m (4m higher than the Eifle Tower). The city is the largest in New Zealand with a population of 1 million and is relatively busy but clean. There didn't appear to be any visible signs of our popular 'Chav' culture and the city centre boasts a lot of modern fashion shops and department stores as well as the regular restaurants we find in the UK (and more).