Keep your eyes open if you are interested in exotic birdlife!
Auckland has a mild climate, therefore parrots - like the Australian rosellas pictured here - can be spotted in many places.
I have seen rosellas various times in the pohutukawa trees on One Tree Hill.
The ones you see on my photo were playing around at dusk at the carpark of the Novotel in Ellerslie (Greenlane).
The best place to encounter native parrots is - apart from the zooo - the pest-free island of Tiritiri Matangi in the Hauraki Gulf. There you will see lots and lots of kakariki - red- and yellow-crowned parakeets. At Auckland Zoo there are one or more kea - but I did not see them on my last visit.
Often people want to store their luggage for the day only, between flights or between a flight and the departure of a cruise ship. This has become increasingly difficult since the age of terrorist threats.
In Auckland you can store your luggage at all i-sites (Visitor Information Centres).
Here is a list of the locations and operating hours:
Auckland i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
Atrium, SKYCITY Auckland, Corner Victoria and Federal Streets
Phone: +64 9 363 7182 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Open: Seven days, 8am to 8pm
New Zealand i-SITE Visitor Information Centre
137 Quay Street, Princes Wharf, Downtown Auckland
Phone: +64 9 307 0612 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Open: (Oct to Mar) Mon to Fri: 8.30am to 6pm. Sat to Sun: 9am to 5pm. (Apr to Sept) 9am to 5pm
Auckland International Airport
Arrivals Hall, Auckland International Airport
Phone: +64 9 275 6467 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Open: Seven days, 24 hours
Auckland Domestic Airport
Air New Zealand Terminal, Auckland Domestic Airport
Phone: +64 9 256 8480 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Open: Seven days, 6am to 10pm
Matiatia Wharf, Oceanview Road, Waiheke Island
Phone: +64 9 372 1234 or 0800 AUCKLAND
Open: Mon to Sun 9am to 5pm
Based on the British Blue Ensign (since New Zealand was a British colony), the New Zealand flag consists of the Union Flag in the upper hoist position, and the Southern Cross represented by four five-pointed stars in the fly. It is very similar to the Australian flag (which does cause a fair bit of confusion), except there are ONLY 4 stars in the Southern Cross on the New Zealand flag, while there are 6 on the Australian flag. The stars are also white-outlined red in the former, and totally white in the latter.
Fondest memory: Like Australia, Queen Elizabeth II is the Head of State and appoints a Governor-General to act in her place.
Like Australia, New Zealand uses the oblique flat blades with ground plug.
Voltage is 230V; Currency frequency is 50Hz.
New Zealand Airports impose an International departure tax of NZ$25 (circa May 08), to be collected separately from the air tickets. You can pay via cash or via credit cards. Look for the collection booths.
Favorite thing: Karangahapi road is a bizzare spot to watch some of the weirder sights that Auckland has to offer. At night is has all sorts of stuff on show from every sort of 'lady of the night' to an interesting mix of clubs and pubs. Of note is Joybong, a Thai restaurant & bar, Casera for coffee and QPR for kebabs.
Auckland Metro Doctors. BNZ Tower, 125 Queen Street (off Swanson Street Walkway). Tel: 0508 306 306.
a) Downtown Pharmacy (Downtown Shopping Centre). 09 309 0648.
b) Cammell The Chemist, between Vulcan Lane & Durham St. 09 303 4253.
c) Strand Arcade Pharmacy. 09 379 0570.
For 2 NZ dollars you can leave your luggage for up to a day down in the "Discover NZ"" tourist office at 180 Quay street.
It's very conveniently locatied, as it's downtown right at the quay and across the street from the bus station. Also from here you can pay for and get the airbus to the airport in case you need to get there
The views of Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour from Mount Victoria in Devonport, are, in my opinion, some of the best in Auckland. This is especially so on a Saturday morning when yachts and pleasure boats are heading out for a day on the Hauraki Gulf.
Nearby North Head also has great maritime views.
Here are some pictures taken on a Saturday morning in March, 2006.
Favorite thing: One option to see the city's major attractions is via a conducted tour like Great Sights.. once you book they pick u up form your hotel and then we gather at their office just after Queens Street we board a bus and we off. The drivers are friendly, the busses are great and a/c is perfect along with th seats. The busses have wide talk windows so one can see outside better. I had visited Victoria park Market, mt Eden, War Memorial Museum & Kelly Tarltons withthem which we finished in the morning itself. One nice thing was at Kelly Tarltons there was a long line of people waiting to enter... we luckily walked past them as if we were VIP's. Visit them at www.greatsights.co.nz
Favorite thing: Usually my trips back home are hectic - catching up with family and also with old friends. My last visit was solely about seeing my parents but I did manage to fit in an afternoon tea with two special VT members - 'Morepork' and 'Kiwi'.. a first time meeting. We had a lovely couple of ours in the top floor of a coffee shop - all to ourselves fortunately, until we got the message they were ready to close up then it was a quick photo session :-).. two lovely ladies that it was my pleasure to meet and stay in touch with... nothing like a 'kiwi' get-together!! :-)
Favorite thing: I took this photo on 19 November, 2004 on the ferry home from Auckland after a one day course in the city (I don't actually work in town). You can see the beautiful old Ferry Building on the left (the orange coloured building) and ferries coming and going from the ferry terminal and other piers along Quay Street. It's a very short walk from the Ferry Building to the bus terminal and Britomart rail station.
Favorite thing: There are more sheep than people in New Zealand but don't be one of them. When paying your departure tax at the airport, don't line-up downstairs opposite check in or upstairs near departures when you can go to the little window next to McDonalds at arrivals. There is never anyone there. Departure tax is NZ$25.
I'm not exactly sure what this building is (though there is another red building very close by which is an Art Gallery) but I was really taken by it. It really stands out in the city among the more serious concrete and glass buildings.
You can find it near the intersection of Kitchener & Wellesley Sts in the city.
Favorite thing: The University of Auckland covers a huge tract of land on the eastern side of the central business district. During week days, over 20 000 students fill this area and it has a culture of its own. Albert Park is on the CBD side of the campus and is a nice place to quietly retreat to from the traffic and pace of downtown. Auckland has few heritage buildings left now, but the University Clocktower has to be one of the best photogenic examples remaining.
Favorite thing: All around Auckland there are beautiful green areas for locals and visitors alike. All those people walking with their kids or their dogs, cycling, rollerblading, etc. made the impression of a very leisurely society. I took this picture somewhere along Tamaki Drive.
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