When we fly across an ocean and cross multiple time zones, we like to stay several days at one place to get used to the time change before moving again. So for our first six days in New Zealand (out of a total of three weeks) we chose a rental condo in the Beaumont Quarter downtown, just a 15 minute walk to the Ferry Terminal downtown.
Auckland has been called the “City of Sails”, and claimed to have a higher rate of boat ownership per capita than any other city in the world.
There is a remarkable amount of new construction in progress downtown, which we were told was related to the upcoming 2021 Americas Cup race which will be held in Auckland. The city also has some interesting architecture.
There are many parks in Auckland, some of them located on the fifty or so dormant volcanoes in the Greater Auckland area. Basically, Auckland is built on a volcano field, the most recent of which, Rangitoto Island, erupted just a scant six centuries ago. It seems possible that several centuries from now another eruption will occur with Auckland city limits. But then I live right on the San Andreas fault in California, and am certainly not criticizing the location of the city; the excellent harbor is why it is where it is. Auckland, and where I live, are both part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, formed by plate tectonics (graphic courtesy of the National Geographic Society).
The Auckland Coast-to-Coast hiking track runs 16km from the Waitemata Harbor downtown to the Manukua Harbor (Track map). Technically the route is in fact “coast to coast”, as it crosses the Auckland Isthmus, the narrowest east/west part of the entire country. In fact parts of the isthmus are even narrower, as little as two kilometers!
Cornwall Park, the largest in the city, contains some enormous trees as well as, unsurprisingly, sheep. The land for the park was gifted to the New Zealand government in 1901 by John Logan Campbell, an early English settler. He had an obelisk built in One Tree Hill to honor the Maori people of Tāmaki Makaurau, and the park is now governed jointly by the Tūpuna Maunga o Tāmaki Makaurau Authority (Maunga Authority) and the Auckland Council.
Two days after arriving we picked up our rental car, a VW e-Golf. Renting a Tesla Model S was just too expensive; over US$2,200 for two weeks (hopefully in a few years the much less expensive Tesla Model 3 will be available to rent: New Zealand deliveries are just starting this month). The e-Golf was the only other EV I could find to rent that had a useful range; reports online indicated it could go 220km on a charge. Though we had no charging at our rental condo, there was a free AC charger a few blocks away. At just 7kW it was slow, but still useful. While staying in Auckland we made the drive north to the small town of Warkworth and unexpectedly spotted a Model S in a market parking lot.
Next > Mt Tauhara at Lake Taupo