The Harbour Bridge
The bridge is one of Aucklands key features around the harbour area and is visible from many places given its size. It's 15 stories high and at just over 1km long the 2nd longest road bridge in NZ (Rakaia Bridge in the South Island is the longest).
The Bridge, running between St Marys Bay and Northcote Point, was opened on 30th of May 1959 and took approx 4 years to build. Originally the bridge had only 4 lanes but with the addition of 2 lane “clippons” each side of the bridge this is now 8 lanes.
The bridge has been hugely criticised over the years as it's one of Auckland's worst bottle necks for traffic and is now at risk due to the extensive wear of the clippon lanes. A 2nd harbour bridge has been discussed but nothing has happended to date - most likely due to the cost and hassle with Auckland road system.
Savage Memorial Park
The Park is named after the first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the Welfare State, Michael Joseph Savage. It's a pleasant place, green and calm, with the memorial and beautiful panoramic views.
It's located on Bastion Point, off Tamaki Drive (a a short walk).
Another popular shopping strip.
Parnell Village is rather quaint with the shops all very small and boutique like. Mostly specialist shops, with classy items to buy, even souvenirs. Art and clothes, interior design and kitchenware.
One American president did his "souvenir" shopping here when in town.
You can view more photos of Parnell Village here. Plenty of eateries and cafés along here amongst the shops. Not exactly backpackers prices, but worth a look anyway.
Britomart - the Transport Centre
Britomart – full name: Britomart Transport Centre (B.T.C.) is the Downtown Bus and Railway Terminal, located at the harbour end of Queen Street between Costums and Quay Streets. In the meantime it has become a huge development.
Some years ago there was just the slightly hidden bus terminal behind the massive former post office building on Queen Street which you accessed via Galway Street, a narrow side street between Customs and Quay Streets. It was good if you knew about it, otherwise you would not have found them – and you needed to get there for getting on a bus to Kelly Tarlton’s ;-)
Now a modern extension has been built behind the historic terminal building on Queen Street. Behind that there is a spacious and longish square which is not only used for departing buses but also for a weekend farmers market.
The transport centre was completed in July 2003 and cost 211 million NZ$.
Britomart is the first port of call if you want to explore Auckland by public transport. By far not all bus lines end at Britomart, some do in Victoria Street (near the Sky Tower), others in Customs Street, and so on. Before getting annoyed or wait at the wrong stop I go to Britomart and get the information plus a timetable – although the latter does not help a lot at peak (and traffic jam) time…
The name Britomart goes back to a ship named HMS Britomart that was built in Portsmouth in 1820, and named after the Cretian goddess Britomartis, or a Welsh princess (Britomart) of the 1500’s who had been named after the goddess…
In June 1840 the HMS Britomart sailed from Sydney to the Bay of Islands, from there to Akaroa on Banks Peninsula where it arrived on 10 August (you will find a Britomart Memorial down there) right in time before the French could claim the land, and then back to the North Island. In Auckland which became NZ’s capital in 1841 they set flag at Britomart Point and established a fort at the site of a Maori Pa (settlement). Later land was reclaimed from the sea, so the shore moved away from Britomart.
Britomart sits at the site of the former Queen Street railway station which was opened in 1885. The beautiful historic white Oamaru stone building which houses Britomart now is the former General Post Office, opened in 1912. You must imagine it as the hub of the city, sitting at the confluence of the city’s important transportation systems, which was then not just railway and ferries, but also tramway. They should have kept the latter, and Auckland would not have its transportation problems… The railway station was transferred to Beach Road in 1930 – and that had always been criticised as too far away from the CBD.
When Post NZ was restructured at the end of the 1980’s and the Queen Street site given up, the building fell into a state of decay, with street kids, homeless people, and pigeons moving in and causing quite a lot of damage, including fire.
Transport information on http://www.maxx.co.nz/
Spectacular views from this very nice revolving restaurant, situated 190 metres up the Skytower.
Great service and lovely food, even a little bit of excitement to get up here on the lift.
I really enjoyed being up here to watch the sun go down, so we got to see the city by daylight , then by night. The night lights were gorgeous too!
Park in the Skycity underground carpark, and you get charged minimum rate if you produce your restaurant receipt. One tip here is to be sure to take the little tag from the Lift lobby, so you remember where your car is, as there are several levels and believe me, searching for your car is no fun!! I would recommend anything off the menu.
The entrees (starters) were all under $20 and the main courses were around $30.