Auckland, New Zealand


Despite being told Auckland was not a city of much interest and basically a connecting point, I loved it. It's built on several ancient volcanic hills, with many parks, and it's urban sprawl seems second only to Los Angeles. It has a vibrant harbor, with night life and many restaurants. There are hotels along the waterfront, including Sebel, Hilton and the new Westin. There’s nothing like Friday night along the bustling waterfront! From the harbor building you can ferry to the charming quaint town of Devenport. Though it's not an island, by water is the fastest way to get there. It has many small cafes, galleries and beaches. Ferry ride is 15 minutes from the main terminal. Back in the city, Parnell, an upscale shopping area, is an enjoyable diversion.

Going through the charming coastal areas of Mission Bay, we reached our suburb destination of St. Heliers and the Lava Restaurant for lunch. I had ‘fush and chups’. And that's how they talk. We drove to Mt. Eden which has a crater from a caldera volcano. The crater is very lush and green with cows grazing down in it. I think that's how they save on cutting the grass.

Linda Lewis