Our friend Christina Walker just sent the next update to her antipodean gallivanting…

If you want to start from the top, here’s her first post.

DAY 3:

I lucked into having beautiful summer weather for a day in Auckland and I took advantage of it by walking through the city and finding my way to the docks.  I had missed the ferry to Waiheke Island, so I caught a bus for Parnell Village.  I found a quaint little street with several unique shops and can say that this area is the best place to find lots of souvenirs at a reasonable price.

Thanks to my new coffee friends who recommended Prego-a fantastic place to dine for dinner.  I ordered a lamb pasta dish (which may have been a special since I can’t find it on their online menu) along with a glass of my favorite wine (Two Hands’ Shiraz Gnarly Dudes).  Both the dish and the wine were perfect.  The only downside to this place was that the bread that I ordered was not only terrible but cost $4 (almost the same price as my wine.)  Also their tiramisu was decent but not nearly as delicious as my entrée.

 

DAY 4:

I took the ferry bright and early over to Waiheke Island.  I did the day tour, which took you over the entire island, and lucked into several people wanting to be dropped off at a winery on the way back to the boat.  I decided to get off as well and found myself at Cable Bay Winery.  The view was beautiful and the wine…the BEST Pinot Noir I’ve EVER had.  So I of course had to buy a bottle.  I followed an additional set of US travelers to another winery called Mudbrick.  Still a nice vineyard but not nearly as good when it came to the wine.  The day pass I had purchased allowed me to catch the bus back to the ferry, so I didn’t need to walk all the way back.  (Doable but I probably would’ve missed the ferry I wound up being able to catch.)

On the way back to my hostel I was able to catch the bus over to the Sky Tower.  Can you say overrated and a waste of money?  I used to live in Chicago so I can appreciate seeing a city from way up high, but unless you want to do some bungee jumping skip this and save your money for something more fun and exciting.

 

DAY 5:

I spent the day leisurely catching a film.  In all honesty I probably could’ve left a day earlier, but am glad I stayed and here’s why.  On Tuesday nights the Stardome (Auckland’s Observatory) has a cheese and wine night to accompany the evening’s star gazing.  The wine was decent and the cheese was yum, but it was amazing to stare up at the sky, something I’ve done so often in the states and not recognize a single constellation.  I learned about the stars that are important to those living in the southern hemisphere along with peering through high powered telescopes during their intermission and being able to see the moon, Saturn and additional constellations.  Definitely worth the cost, and the best part is I was able to get there and back by bus alone.

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