February 26, 2019
We arrived in Auckland early this morning. I had a 9:30 work call so we had our breakfast and right after the call we headed to the ferry building to take the ferry to Devonport.
First about Auckland. This is our third time here and we really like the city. It is the major gateway for ship and air traffic and was once the capital of New Zealand. It is called the “City of the Sails” because of its beautiful location and great weather. It is build on top of a cluster of extinct volcanos. It is the largest city in the country and the people here are just wonderful.
I couldn’t take a picture as soon as we docked because we were facing the Hilton Hotel which it seemed we could almost reach out and touch. But I got some pictures from the Terrace Café.
The needle shaped building is the sky tower. And the orangish one is the beautiful ferry building with the ferries in the water. That’s how close it is.
They were loading LOTS of supplies on the ship. We have 5 days till Sydney and have just had a number of sea days so they have a need to stock up!
It is another beautiful day in the 70’s. After the heat and humidity, it felt cool at breakfast but once we were out and about, it felt just perfect.
From the ferry, I took these pictures. Our friend Mike said the first building must have been designed by a man because the toilet seat is up!
The ferry trip to Devon port takes just 12 minutes. We love this little historic town. Europeans settled her in the mid 1800s but the Maori settlement goes back to the mid-14th century. The town was named after the Devonport naval base in England. One of the first things you see when you leave the ferry wharf is the Esplanade Hotel, built in 1902-03 is one of the oldest on the North Shore and the bar still exists in its original position in the hotel. We planned to have lunch there after doing our shopping and walking.
Last time we were here, I bought some really unique jewelry and clothes. I went back to the same stores and found some earrings as well as the merino wool and possum (not our kind of possum) gloves and socks. I wore out the gloves I bought last time.
We then took the walk on Victoria Road and up to Mt. Victoria. It is quite a steep hike (the largest volcanic cone here) but the view at the top is just spectacular. You can see over to Auckland and all around Devonport and the harbors. It was part of the coastal defense system established in 1885 in fear of attack on the British Empire by the Russian Pacific Fleet.
We enjoyed the views, chatted with a man from Connecticut and then walked back down to the main part of town. The historic buildings are really nice.
We had a leisurely lunch at the Esplanade Hotel.
This town is quirky in a way we love. I like to post signs and here are some that we saw today. They love dogs here too and this one loves the town right back. He has his own grass patch right in a parking lot!
Our last two visits were the always important Devonport Chocolate and the equally important Glengarry Wine!
We sat and enjoyed the small beach and even noticed a swimmer, then we boarded the ferry after a really fun day.
Here are some of the pictures from the ferry back to Auckland. The hill is Mt. Victoria.