17 July 2006

Auckland Odyssey

14 hours on the road - with 3 hours spent wandering around in Sydney's Terminal 1 took me all the way to New Zealand.

It must have been the clothes I had on, I was questioned by NZ Immigration for 2 good hours - they went over everything about me - I'm guessing they know me better than my mum does. But it all ended up ok - it was probably just the normal questioning they do to every 1 in, uh, I dunno, 10,000 travellers.

So I reached the hotel at around 1.30 am in the morning, and didn't have much sleep - I still had to do a short meeting and prepare for the morning's events.

Now, work today went alright - Auckland had a really beautiful day - clear blue skies and warm weather for this time of the year. David, our host here did mention that there had been days with 0 celcius mornings - so I guess Amelia's friend hadn't been exaggerating after all.

Besides meetings, which ended early today, I've had a good walk around Auckland's CBD, along the water. Here are some pictures with explanations. Click to see better.

The sun setting over the Harbour Bridge in Auckland. There's this beautiful wharf along the water which was a great place to walk along. In the cool winter evening breeze, I totally enjoyed the place.

Sky City in Auckland is a landmark. It gives identity and instant recognition to the low rise Auckland CBD. Auckland is pretty hilly, with plenty of hills and valleys. My hotel is located just 2 blocks off Queen Street, the main shopping area, also where the NZ office is located. In the winter breeze, it was a joy walking to work. I wouldn't dream of having the same walk in HK. Or even Singapore.

Auckland City Hall (or is it Town Hall) by night. Our NZ office is just across the street from here.

Locals convinced me it's not a very good idea to come to Auckland and not try the Old Style Hamburger. So, like any good tourist does, I went over to Wendy's to get the Double Cheeseburger combo. How authentic .. the entire store was manned by migrant workers (looked like they were from South Asia) and a part time student from Asia. It tasted ok ... but I'm gonna hunt down an authentic Old-Style Burger store tomorrow ...

So, there's my Auckland adventures so far. I have a bit of time on Wednesday, so I'm hoping I'll be able to get some sort of sightseeing squeezed in. The weather is great so far, I can't ask for a better day in winter, and the food and people have been great too. So, it's good so far.

BTW, the top photo is at the Departure Hall in Hong Kong International Airport.


Amelia said...

Make sure you go up the Sky City Tower & do a "bungy" jump there. ;)

I'm not too sure if they still have the "Eat All You Can" Yum Cha Lunch at Sky City. If they do, it's value for money.

I'm also not too sure if they still sell them but McD's used to sell beautiful KIWI burgers.

Btw,how's your leg after the long flight?

Take care & have a great time. :)

Che-Cheh said...

Aiyo kesian our Monster was questioned by the NZ immigration. Did they cut you up , embed a minichip inside you and sew you back ?

Hey how come you're now visiting all the places that I plan to visit in the future?

Have a bbbbery cold good night!

angel said...

*wonders what moz was wearing... or not wearing*

*chin resting on both hands*



angel said...

Oops... I better clarify...
I was dreaming about NZ, yeah... :P

Sheena said...

When my family toured NZ, Burger King was having some 1.99 promotion on their bacon cheeseburger. I swear, at every stop on our road trip, the 1st thing my siblings & I did was to look for a BK which served that burger. The novelty of ordering & eating real ham/bacon (none of that turkey ham, beef bacon) in a public fast-food restaurant NEVER wore off :D

moz monster said...

amelia: I was up at the Sky City alright, but it was alredy night time, so no bungy jumps ... =(

No such luck with Yum Cha, but I had some prime NZ lamb at Tony's on Wellesley St. "Possibly the best steak in the world" .... yuuuuuuuuuuUUUUUUUUUUUUUuuuMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!

Hey, and thanks for asking about the foot - it's been much better now. I just feel sore after a long day's walk - just like anyone would, no more pain and numb. Must be the cool weather !!

che-cheh: Well ... even the NZ folks I met here felt sorry ... maybe the immigration folks really thought that I would never leave NZ and stay on forever and ever.

=) ... I'm at all the places you plan to visit because I'm everywhere !!! =)

And a cold good night to you too !!

angel: I would like to thank you for your clarification. I'm sure mass puking that was nearly certain following your first comment has now been averted due to the clarification =P

sheena: Haha ... I can understand how you feel. I like BK too, but for this short trip here, I'll just be happy with some prime NZ Lamb or NZ Beef ... and some fresh air for a change. The air in HK and KL is just plain stifling.