Aukland New Zealand

Just plain pretty everywhere you turned

Auckland, New Zealand


Known as " The City Of Sails ".

Auckland is New Zealand's largest city, with a population of just under 346,000 within the city boundary and 1.06 million in the greater Auckland area. This represents about one third of the population of the whole country. The city and suburbs cover an area of 60 square kilometer's, with many of the suburbs having there own unique character. 

Staying On Land Before The Ship


We stayed at the Carlton courtesy of Crystal cruises and of course like everything Crystal, it was beautiful!!! They had a super Japanese restaurant with some vegetarian selections! Situated in the heart of Auckland, this stunning hotel is ideally positioned within walking distance of some of New Zealand's finest dining, shopping, culture and entertainment, including the Queen St shopping precinct and Auckland's famous Viaduct Harbor.  

Neat Hotel in the center of town!

The Skytower

Skytower In Auckland
The SkyTower

This tower is one of the highest structures in the Southern Hemisphere!  We rode up and had a 360 degree view of Auckland and even stepped our on the solid glass floor and looked straight down!   Well... Sue did it, Paul was a tad squeamish... 200 pounds on glass just didn't make sense!!


We took a train to Rotoura ... quite an interesting ride across the country side to the south. We didn't have a lot of time in Rotorua so we had a cabbie provided us a quick tour.

Rotoura Botanical Gardens

Overall Impression

Wonderful city, super friendly people, clean, easy to navigate, and we would certainly do it again!!




The Auckland Botanic Gardens are comparatively young commencing in 1973 on gently contoured farmland. Development is ongoing and is resulting in a garden of distinctive character. Over 65 hectares in extent including 10 hectares of native forest - one of the most important remnants in the Auckland area. With the regions mild climate a wide variety of plants from a temperate to sub-tropical regions are successfully grown. The native plant collections focus on those plants occurring naturally within the northern parts of New Zealand and there is a special garden where threatened and plants near extinct may be seen. There are many outstanding plant collections. The South African is one of the richest where protea, erica, bulbs and succulents are gathered on a gentle sloping site. There is a large collection of cacti and succulents in the rock garden where a mighty Aloe barbarae (syn.bainsesii) is the most photographed tree in the garden. Other collections include the salvia, camellia, magnolia and rose families while the herb and the edible garden are always popular with visitors.

Auckland Domain Museum

Auckland Domain

We visited the museums which had excellent displays of New Zealand's role in WWII. The Museum is located in the city’s oldest and most popular park, the Auckland Domain . This expansive area is a respite from the rush and bustle of the city, just minutes away. From playing fields to formal gardens and ponds edged by century-old trees, there is much to see and do here.

Next Destination, The Ship!

Crystal Harmony is a study in modern ship design. From the moment you set foot aboard the ship you'll notice your world slips pleasantly into place. There's a quiet, understated elegance in the design and décor that feels in balance. As the standard of excellence - the leader of luxury - Crystal Cruises would have it no other way.

Crystal Harmony
The Crystal Harmony

Our next destination was Christchurch after a day at sea on the Crystal Harmony.  It is time to relax and unwind!  We had a formal night between Auckland and Christchurch... Time to get dressed up and behave!