I finally found Vegemite at the airport. There was some controversy when I went through NZ customs as to whether Vegemite counted as a plant product. Vegemite is a yeast extract and thus not a plant, but the customs form listed mushrooms as plant products, so to be safe I checked the yes box. One agent said I did need to declare Vegemite, while another understood my plant vs. fungus position.
I never saw so much green land and green water (actually any green water at all) until I was landing in Auckland. Too bad the sky was mostly cloudy.
I didn't realize Auckland is so hilly, but I guess that makes sense on account of the volcanoes.
Northeast view from my room at the Hyatt Regency Auckland. Rangitoto Island is in the distance.
Weight at this point = 73 kg (161 lb).
The one thing on my agenda for today was the Sky Tower, at 328 m (1076 ft) the tallest tower in the southern hemisphere. I normally don't get a woody for tall buildings (e.g. Centrepoint and the Eiffel Tower), but I had to ascend Sky Tower since it's the tallest in the SoHem. Plus I recalled when I visited the World Trade Center in July 2001 and didn't go to the top because I figured I could do that next time.
Northeast view from Sky Tower, Main Observation Level (186 m/610 ft).
Southeast view from Main Observation Level. The Parthenon-like structure at left center is the Auckland Museum.
Straight-down view through the floor of the Main Observation Level, through one of the 38-mm glass panels that is reputedly as strong as concrete. This is the corner of Federal and Victoria. The "Mexican food" rooftop ad is brilliant, and I ended up having dinner there the next day. At the top corner of the Sky Tower patio is the Skyjump platform, where bungee-style jumpers land after departing from a few meters above the MOL. I would have done it but between BridgeClimb and Rangitoto I'd done enough altitude stuff already.
Northeast view from Sky Deck (220.4 m/723 ft).
East view from Sky Tower. Look at the tall building topped by the dark step pyramid--my hotel is the building to the right of and partially obscured by the pyramid.
Whites appear to be in the minority in Auckland, which is what I remember reading. Asians and Polynesians are predominant. I don't know how to identify Maori.
On the flight we were served Indian food, which ranks second only to the salmon sandwich I had a year ago on the London-Amsterdam flight. But this didn't stop me from having Indian again for dinner. I tried to talk myself out of it but they had chicken Madras.
After dinner I went to the wharf just to see how far a walk it was from my hotel. Then I retired.
It took a few minutes of TV watching to establish the different between the Aussie and Kiwi accents. Kiwis pronounce short e as short i, and short i as short oo. So "seven" is pronounced siv'ən instead of sev'ən, and "chicks" is pronounced chooks instead of chiks. Now I understand the "foosh" comment on the Contiki coach.