Jan made us a lovely breakfast of poached eggs on toast, and I showed her some more on her phone and then we were going to have coffee at their favourite cafe down by the beach. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a park anywhere nearby, so we rang Jan and said our goodbyes over the phone and headed off to Auckland.
We didn’t have any stops along the way today. The scenic part of the trip we’d done yesterday, and there was nothing noteworthy the rest of the way.
We stopped at One Tree Hill Lookout once we got to Auckland and had our last picnic lunch for the trip. The views from up there are amazing!
Then we headed to our hotel and checked in and lugged our suitcases and everything out of the car up to our room and then bludged (wrote my blog) until our dinner reservation at the Gion Japanese Restaurant.
Getting to the restaurant through a couple of parks, rather than by road, took a bit longer than we thought, but the walk was pretty at least.
Dinner was really good! My sister had never had Japanese before (aside from at a Teppanyaki Bar), so it was a new experience for her. We had sake with dinner, and that was pretty good too!
It was dark by the time we left the restaurant and the city skyline was lit up. Yes, we have a view!
Today we caught the bus into the city and bought a few souvenirs for the family back home and then had brunch at the shopping centre before catching the Fullers ferry across to Rangitoto Island for the Volcanic Explorer Tour.
Rangitoto Island is actually a dormant volcano. There were lots of lava fields that hadn’t been overgrown with plants, even though the last eruption was about 600 years ago. This is in part because the island has no fresh water except from rainfall. It’s also free of pests in the form of introduced species of animals and plants, so there wasn’t much wildlife to see.
Still, it was an intersting day, and we had some fantastic views from the summit and made a couple of other stops along the way back to the harbour. There were a lot of yachts out on the harbour today!
We got off the ferry in Devonport, since we left Rangitoto at 3.45pm. I remember liking Devonport when I was here in 2004 and so we had a coffee and then a stroll along the coast to the Navy museum.
Then we had a nice dinner of scallops at the cafe at which we’d had coffees earlier.
We got the 7pm ferry back to the city because it looked like storms were brewing.
We managed to get back to the hotel before any rain hit. Since the sunset was quite spectacular, I had to take lots more photos, both from the room and the carpark of the hotel.
And then it was time to pack our bags and set the alarm for 5.30am for the trip home. Holidays over.
Reworked and larger sized pictures from these days are here. Click on the first picture and then move through them at full screen size.