I like Auckland. This has come as somewhat of a surprise to me, because everything I read about this city said not to waste time on it. From the members of Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Forum to the residents of the city itself, the consensus is that there is nothing to do in Auckland, no sites of interest, and no history. Granted, I haven’t spent a lot of time here (a day and a half), but I found plenty to do in a city that is easy to navigate, clean as a whistle, safe at all hours of the the day and night, and eminently walkable. I love to walk – I can stroll for hours when I am investigating a new place. In Auckland I’ve found no lacks of places to walk, including the waterfront and surrounding downtown; the campus of Auckland University; lots of cute little neighborhoods; and dozens of parks that have been created from the numerous volcano cones that litter the landscape as a result of 48 separate eruptions that have occurred throughout the history of Auckland.
Once the sites of Auckland proper have been seen, the city remains a very good base for traveling to the outlying islands, with their exquisite scenery, hiking trails, artists colonies, whale watching, dolphin swimming, beach bumming, etc. So, in honor of the city that everyone said to skip, I am dedicating the rest of this post to photos of the things I have seen and done in Auckland. Continue reading