New Zealand – Auckland

Sometimes living in one place for most of your young life you get conditioned to your surroundings.
Auckland is the city that does that for me. Being born just 30 km to the south of the city gave me the best of both worlds. Counrty town with a city on the back door. As years have past the city has come to greet the produce town of Pukekohe. Now it seems my small town has all grown up and the coffee crowd have moved in.

Auckland_nz

Puke (as it’s known to the locals is sometimes thought of as part of Auckland, but really Puke is a sizable town that is pretty self contained. As a Supply town to the local farmers of both agricultural and dairy Puke stands alone. It’s also the home of Equestrian and Motorsport events such as the annual V8 International Supercars Champion Series held at the Pukekohe Park Raceway every April.

v8_Pukekohe

Pukekohe has a vibrant cafe scene now and has plenty of cafe’s and restaurants so suit all tastes.
So if you are planning a stay in Auckland, grab a rental car and scoot down the motorway to Pukekohe for the day, or maybe stay the night.

Some of the many attractions to Pukekohe include: 
The 
Saturday morning market (maybe you’ll see my dad selling his woodcraft)
Golf, the water gardens and beaches of the west coast, horse treks, or the nearby Glenbrook Vintage Railway for a Sunday ride through the countryside

Glenbrook_vintage_railway

Auckland as a city goes I’m finding out now as I’m older has a lot going for it. Hey it may not be the capital city of New Zealand (NZ for short) but it controls the  business end of the stick. To live in the heart of Auckland is to succumb to the same as most modern cities. Traffic and small apartments in blocks shared by foreign students looking to better themselves. Some even wonder were is the culture that NZ portrays overseas here. Well its here, you just have to get out of your hotel and find it.
As a child we used to head to the Farmers Trading Company in Hobson St. It’s gone now, but the heritage listed grand old building still stands today as the luxurious 5 star Heritage Hotel.

The waterfront of Aucklands magnificent Waitamata Harbour is. Great Sunday drive. Ad kids we would pile into the old oxford Cambridge wagon and eat ice cream on the beach at mission bay. It was a favorite back then and still is now with many Aucklanders and tourists soaking up the sun.

Museum_Auckland

Up the hill behind the city standing as a majestic lord of the city is the Auckland Museum. By far the most impressive old building in Auckland. Perched inside the parkland ground forming the Auckland Domain its a perfect place to take a picnic and spend time gazing at the beautiful winter garden green houses that are over 100 years old. Be sure to stop and feed the ducks at the lake and check out the devonshire tea at the kiosk. It’s been there for as long as I’ve been coming to the Domain.
In the good old days Queen St was the place to go for shopping. Long before the take over of shopping malls it was the height of fashion. It still boats some great little arcades. Head to the bottom of Queen St to take in the harbour views and cafes.

Devonport_Auckland

Taking the ferry across the harbor to Devenport is a great way to capture the city skyline. Surrounded by the stunning waters of the Waitemata Harbour, Devonport is blessed with boundless natural beauty, from the twin volcanic cones of Mount Victoria and North Head, offering some of the most spectacular views in Auckland.

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