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Tēnā koutou katoa

This is all about New Zealand - Aotearoa - and the time I spent there. Magical times, beautiful scenery, gushing geysers, thermal wonderlands. Hear about Waitangi Day, discover the meaning of the word "Aotearoa", see the Glaciers, read about hangis and Hakas, and visit the beautiful Bay of Islands. So come with me on a journey - a journey to The Land of The Long White Cloud.
Kia ora


Watch The Haka

19. Auckland - Mt. Eden and a Broken Bus!

Sunday 7 January

Well now, it's time to head down the North Island. The bus arrived and we left at 7.50am. (That's one of the good things about the hop-on/hop-off backpacker buses - they pick you up and drop you off at your accommodation. None of this having to lug heavy suitcases and/or backpacks behind you!)

First, we went to Mt. Eden - the winds were icy, and this is summer?! Mount Eden, (Maungawhau, the 'Mountain of the Whau tree' in Māori) is the name of a cinder cone and surrounding suburb in Auckland City, New Zealand, situated five kms south of the city centre. The mountain is the highest natural point in the whole of Auckland. The English name honours George Eden, 1st Earl of Auckland.

Auckland from Mt. Eden

You can see how the Sky Tower dominates the city skyline. And at 328 metres, it is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and offers breathtaking views for up to 80 kms in every direction. In the background you can see Freeman's Bay and Stanley Bay.

Auckland again

Actually, I have cropped this photo - I was standing in the front and decided I rather spoilt the picture! Alas, I thought I liked having me in front of things and saying, "Hey, look at me! Here I am at 'such-and-such-a-place'!"
I have learnt better. Now when I take photos, I definitely do not want to look back and see me standing there.:-) Ah...we live and learn, eh?

On top of Mount Eden

I have lightened this and used "poetic licence" by adding a tinge of pink to the sky as the original was very dark.

Cattle Rights

Cattle graze on the slopes of Mt. Eden and buses (and other traffic) need to negotiate and give them way. It was lovely to see them so close to a city.

Cattle close-up

It seems that cattle grazing on Mt. Eden will be a thing of the past, according to this report. How sad. I am glad (and lucky) that I had the chance to be here before this happened.

Back on the road
After Mt. Eden, we all filed back on the bus and travelled along the Auckland Hamilton Highway through the Bombay Hills and stopped at Mercer for a coffee. I ordered a small coffee and received it plus a large-sized one too! As my old Dad always said, never look a gift horse in the mouth. I drank both.

On the road again, and the bus was playing up. Paul, our driver, said the engine was heating and showing RED so we had to return to Mercer.

Broken Down

The chap on the left is Paul, and on the table is a book - Maeve Binchy's "The Glass Lake", which I was reading. That's my camera case on top. Isn't it amazing how photos bring back memories?

We Wait

Here you can see some of the others all in varying poses of relaxation. Some went for walks, some ate, and others just chilled out and napped under the trees or in the sun.

Ah..what a lovely way to spend 2 hours! The replacement bus came at 12.10PM!
This meant that our time in Waitomo would be cut short, but hey.. it's a holiday and something that you look back on with fond memories. I didn't really mind the wait. It was nice not having to rush somewhere or be anywhere.

Below: Mt. Eden and Mercer. Click on the blue markers for photo.

View Mount Eden NZ in a larger map

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