Reflections on Auckland
The general impression of arriving in New Zealand is positive from the moment that the immigration forms ask is one wants to stay and the immigration process is complete in maybe 5 minutes or less.
The general drive into auckland is unspectacular with normal housing and industrial developments lining regular dual carriageways. There is however an absence of the hideous traffic jams that line most of the UK motorways.
The centre of Auckland has the regular shops and hotels that one expects to see but the focus point is maybe the harbour filled with various yachts of immense expense, boats offering whale and dolphin trips and the edges lined with appealing bars and restaurants. An Italian restaurant Portofino can be recommended for basic but nice Italian fare and not too pricey.
As one walks around the people look happy. When I was there there was an international Karate tournament with most of the young teenage contestantants staying in the hotel. There was no arguing with these guys when they rushed up en-masse to get their breakfast items. The Austrian girls were particularly scary.
The city is also lined by a series of dormant, hopefully, volcanoes. Mount Wellington being one example giving great views of the city and worth a decent climb. At the moment cars are allowed to the top to a small car park but soon this will end and car passengers will have to take the same walking route as their coach passenger fellow tourists.
The food generally is interesting. Gorgeous slices of Mango at breakfast with fresh pears and apricots. Lebanese restaurants with very different menus to what might be expected in UK.
There is the usual selection of excellent graffiti and one piece of a guy trying to break into a locked garage caught my eye and was spectacular. A few curious signs too.