Kia ora! I've uploaded some photos from Auckland this morning. Hope to add some more from the first couple days of cycling tonight.
A few more words about Auckland... If Rome was the city built on 7 hills, Auckland is the city built on 7 volcanos. Volcano domes are all around the area. The Auckland Museum has a whole section dedicated to volcano's and the possible disaster that could come if one erupts near the city. And that seems likely at some point. In the harbor near Auckland is an island called Rangitoto that wasn't there 500 years ago. Geologically speaking, it's about as new a volcanic island as you are going to find. Imagine being a Maori tribe living near here 500 years ago and watching an island grow out of the water in a burning, smoking mass of lava!
There are several pictures in this update from the Auckland Museum, which was very interesting. One floor is dedicated to Maori people and their buildings and artifacts. The 2nd floor is about the natural world of New Zealand... volcanos, kiwi birds, the ocean, etc. And the 3rd floor is dedicated to New Zealanders in the wars since the late 19th century including a hall filled with the carved names of soldiers who've died in the various wars. Quite a combination, but also quite fascinating!