Tuesday, 16 December 2008

24 hours in Auckland

I had already decided that I wanted to spend my last night in New Zealand overlooking Auckland Harbour so my first stop on landing was the I-Site office. It took a while but I was booked into a harbour view room at the Copthorne. I was advised that I wouldn't need a car as I could walk most places in and around the city from there. I got the super shuttle from the airport - mini bus and trailer that takes about 10 people and delivers them to whatever door they want. $30 instead of the estimated $75 for a cab. I was about the 4th person off so I got a bonus small tour of the city.

The Copthorne is just across the road from the harbour and ferry terminals and my room was on the 10th floor so I had a good view. I had come to realise that every time I arrived in a city I'd lost little time in leaving it again - and this time was no different. Within 20 minutes of checking in to the hotel I was on the ferry to Waiheke Island. Conor had told me that this was a very special and lovely place and she was right. I've got a brochure from an estate agent in my suitcase! The Auckland skyline is impressive viewed from the ferry and the island is very very pretty. I got a bus to the town and walked enjoying the beach, the views and the flowers. Lovely!

When I got back to Auckland I was hungry and I found an asian restaurant that I liked the look of and had some very good prawns in coriander and lime. Back at the hotel I spent a little time on the blog and a lot more watching the lights and movement over the harbour.

I woke the following morning with a very heavy heart knowing that I had very little time left in New Zealand and not liking it one bit! I was looking forward to my niece's wedding but I really didn't want to leave New Zealand. But it had to be done.

I was up and out really early for a last and fast walk round the harbour area and was still at reception in plenty of time for the return trip to the airport by super shuttle. I'd arranged this with the concierge the afternoon before as I left for the ferry. Except that it didn't turn up and upon enquiry I learnt that it had not been booked.

I might not have wanted to leave but I wasn't going to miss the flight. Suffice to say I was not a happy woman and the hotel were left in no doubt of this! I travelled to the airport in a taxi at the expense of the hotel.

I don't need to say that checking in, boarding, taking off happened in a haze of tears and sniffles - pathetic! I gave myself a stern talking to as the plane headed out over the ocean - I'd had a truly truly fabulous experience and the last thing I should be doing as I ended my first visit to New Zealand was snivel!! Remember, rejoice, PLAN! I'll be back.

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