Auckland-Warkworth

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May 18, 2004 - Auckland-Warkworth

12:10am - My Air Pacific flight from Suva landed in Auckland on time, and I cleared customs and immigration without incident. I went to the airport counter where tourists can book rental cars and hotels and made arrangements for a room with the Airport Garden Inn (a nearby hotel) where I crashed for the night.

My transition from ship to land, and from the Fijian tropics to the New Zealand winter

bulletAfter the tropical heat of Suva, I'm finding my hotel room very cold! I am running the heater in my room continuously.
bulletAs it turns out, coffee can predispose one for seasickness on open ocean passages, so I had abstained from coffee for the whole voyage on Sequoia. This morning I finally resumed my coffee habit, so I really enjoyed having nice strong coffee with my breakfast!
bulletI'm doing laundry this morning since the hotel offers free use of washers and dryers. I can finally have some dry, salt-free clothes to wear. This is a real luxury, after putting up with wearing damp, salty clothing during the voyage with Sequoia.

My cousin Cindy picked me up today and drove me back to Warkworth (one hour drive), where she and her family live.  We stopped at the Warkworth Information Centre and I booked a nearby B&B for two nights.  Then we all went out for dinner to the Salty Dog Inn at Snells Beach - very good food - recommended! (Tel: 0800 SALTYDOG or 09-425-5588 Email: saltydoginn@xtra.co.nz)

Warkworth Country House B&BI am staying at the The Warkworth Country House B&B for two nights, which is operated by a very nice British couple. It is located close to Warkworth, and they have two very nice rooms each with ensuite, which includes a full breakfast. This B&B has changed hands since 2004, however I stayed in this property again in 2010, and the new owners provide wonderful accommodation as well. Still recommended!

May 19, 2004 - Warkworth

I had a very nice breakfast of coffee, juice, cereal, scrambled eggs & toast.  I then walked over to nearby Parry Kauri Park. Entrance to the park is by donation.  There are two 800 year old Kauri trees to see - named the McKinney & Simpson Kauri trees - the largest of their kind on the east coast of New Zealand. The Warkworth Museum is also located inside the park.  They charge an admission at the door of NZ$6/12 (single/family) to see the historical exhibits.

The McKinney Kauri tree The McKinney Kauri tree Younger Kauri trees in their native semi-tropical forest
  The Warkworth Museum - McKinney Kauri to the left  
Kauri amber - The Warkworth Museum Kauri planks - The Warkworth Museum Old lightbulb display - The Warkworth Museum

Cindy very kindly took me on a driving tour of the Warkworth area.  There are some wonderful outlooks to the coastline with views all the way down to Auckland (to the south). Afterward, we had a superb home-cooked fish  dinner.  Cindy's husband Graeme is a fisherman, so the fish was the freshest!

Point Wells beach and estuary - where my cousin lives Great Barrier Island offshore Sheep farm at sunset
Looking north up the coast - those white dots are all sheep! Looking south down the coast past Point Wells all the way to Auckland

 

After I returned to my B&B,  I photographed the Crux region of the Milky Way from the patio outside my room.  The Southern Hemisphere's night sky is simply astounding: full of clouds of stars, as well as bright and dark nebulae.  It is relatively easy to find a dark sky site in New Zealand, as compared with the serious light pollution problems we experience in virtually all parts of North America.


May 20, 2004 - Warkworth to Auckland

My all-too-short visit with my cousin Cindy and her family came to an end today.  As we drove back to Auckland, there were some good views of Auckland harbour from the bridge (the northern approach to the city).  Westhaven Marina, where Sequoia spent a few months, is shown in the photo to the right

Auckland from the bridge Westhaven Marina & Auckland from the bridge

Lodge 33 is my B&B for the night, conveniently located in the Westmere neighborhood of Auckland. This B&B offers a nice respite from the noisy city of Auckland, and yet is conveniently located. The bonus for me was being greeted by Harry (the B&B owner's Jack Russell Terrier). I miss my Tucker! Please note: this B&B is no longer in business.

  Lodge 33 B&B  
Kitchen & dining area - Lodge 33 B&B Patio & pool - Lodge 33 B&B Living room - Lodge 33 B&B
My room - Lodge 33 B&B Being greeted by Harry Harry


I needed a light meal before going to bed, so I walked a few blocks to Delicious, a small restaurant featuring Italian cuisine located on Richmond Rd.  They offer fresh pasta takeout or dine-in from $8.50 (appetizer) to $15.50 (dinner-sized portions). The place was near-empty when I arrived at 6pm, but 20 minutes later it was packed. Auckland residents obviously eat in restaurants just as often as us North Americans do. Service was good, as was the food, but portions were small. My appetizer was all I could eat since I just wanted a snack, but it might leave some hungry, so I would suggest others order the full-sized portions.  My after-dinner Latté hit the spot, and I returned to my B&B satisfied and ready for some sleep.

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If you are not interested in reading about my trip home, you may wish to end this travelogue here.  Otherwise click on the Auckland to Victoria leg of my journey for more details.

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