After a very early flight from Nadi airport we arrived in Auckland around lunchtime. The immigration queue was so long and slow that you could have died waiting to get into the country! They also have very strict 'biosecurity' so we had to declare all our shells and bits of wood! The biosecurity officer asked lots of strange questions about my passport and it turned out it was because he's a McCarthy too! They get everywhere! We eventually made it out of the airport and got a bus to our hostel - base backpackers. We stayed on the 'Sanctuary' level where it's all girls and you get a towel and some mini bottles of smellies!! The hostel was just off of the main street and five minutes walk from the Viaduct Harbour. We had an explore and then grabbed a quick dinner. New Zealand feels very English, you could imagine you were in a city at home, but it's a lot less busy here. We both put on huge loads of washing as our clothes stunk from Fiji!! Annoyingly my machine was broken, but after a bit of chaos it was all done. We went on the internet and ploughed through some guide books before heading to bed.
After a bit of a lie in we went out in search of the 'magic bus' office to sort out our tickets and get them to explain their very badly designed route map! From there we headed to the Auckland sky tower which is the big pointy thing in the centre of the picture above! You get a good view of the city from above although it does make you feel a bit unsafe! There are some glass panels on the floor where you can see fifty-something floors down to the ground. There's signs next to them saying they're just as strong as concrete but there was no way I was standing on them! We had lunch up there then went down the main street (Queen's Street) to Aotea square where there was a little market. From there we walked into Albert Park which is a perfectly manicured English style park with some nice architecture around it! There is a distinct lack of places to buy ice creams here. We were desperate! A random discovery is that the public toilets are really swish! We finally got an ice cream down by the harbour. We had pizza for dinner on a balcony overlooking Queen's Street. As usual we were on the internet again before bed!
This morning we intended to go to One Tree Hill but as it was a Sunday there were no buses going on that route. Instead we got the bus out to a district of Auckland called Parnell. We saw the gothic wooden curch of St. Mary's and the Holy Trinity Cathedral which are right next to each other. (These were where the funeral and lying in state of Sir Edmund Hilary were held only a few days later). We walked along the main street which is full of cute little shops. We got the bus back to the centre of Auckland and had a look round the shops. We got some food to eat in our room while we re-packed our bags. I called Mum to wish her an early happy birthday then internet and bed!