We enjoyed our overnight flight from Vancouver into Auckland although Air New Zealand’s business class seats are a little odd. They fold into beds but are kind of narrow and don’t face the windows. It felt a bit like sitting sideways on a bus! Still that’s way better than the usual economy seats so we aren’t complaining.
As happens pretty much every time we travel now, Air New Zealand changed our outbound flight to one day earlier. No problem, except that Kris had to work until 1700 on Sunday. A little challenging to get home and to the airport for our 1955 flight. So, thanks to her wonderful colleagues and understanding supervisor, she was able to escape work a little early and make it to the airport on time.
Instead of trying to change our Auckland to Christchurch flights on the 24th and trying to add another day at the hotel in CC, we have decided to spend the day in Auckland and keep the rest of our plans the same.
Auckland is called the City of Sails. The city is built on a stretch of land between two harbours and is said to have more than 500,000 sailboats moored in multiple marinas.
Auckland also has the largest Polynesian population in the world.
Pouwhenua are carved wooden posts that mark territorial boundaries or places of significance. ‘Pou’ are significant to the Maori, acknowledging the association between the people and the land.
Te Toka o Apihai Te Kawau monument celebrates the founding of Auckland on September 18, 1840 after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Maori chiefs and the British crown.
Rainbow Warrior memorial to the Greenpeace ship that was bombed by the French in 1985.
We wandered about downtown and found some fun things to photograph. Kiwis are not just people or fruit. They are birds which is the real reason the fruit and locals are referred to as kiwis. Just like we have whale and bears sculptures at home that artists paint and display, Auckland has kiwi birds this year.
One more bonus from the change in flight time was Kris got to have a birthday dinner at the fancy restaurant at the hotel (instead of missing her birthday entirely during the flight across the International date line). And by fluke (?) our room number at the Novotel at the airport is 10/24!!
Tomorrow we fly to Christchurch and start the “real trip”.