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Auckland: Great to be back in the city

Posted by daveb on March 26th, 2009

After spending nearly seven weeks talking to sheep, I can’t tell you how pleased we are to be back in a decent-sized city again. Our guidebook refers to Auckland as being ‘Sydney for beginners’, which I feel is a tad unfair. To my eye, it’s got a artefacts of its volcanic past, a lovely boat marina, some glitzy skyscrapers mish-mashed in-between some older ‘colonnial-style’ buildings and a whacking-great syringe-needle shaped observation tower from which to take it all in — the highest in the southern hemisphere, to boot. And you can even jump off it, if you so choose.

As to be expected on such a nice day, in all directions the view stretched for miles before our eyes. We bit our nails as we watched the ‘Skywalkers’ carefully plot their route around the external walkway–barrier-less on both sides–around the viewing platform and placing their fears and their life in their overhead safety rope. We marvelled at the ballsy ‘Skyjumpers’: those nutters who undertook a simulated BASE jump from the 192m walkway; to my eyes, it wasn’t quite freefall speeds, but it was close. Both look equally scary and I successfully talked myself out of trying either of them. The best we could muster was standing on the solid glass floor of the observation deck and looking down to the city streets a great distance below our knocking knees.

Many people have talked Auckland down as being ‘just boring another city’, but I will stick up for it here. Just another city, it may be. Sydney for beginners, it may be. But, as long as I don’t have to catch the seemingly always late bus, I like it and could be persuaded to stick around for a while.

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