Question to guide: ‘What’s an Auck?’

January 31, 2018

​New Zealand Day Two: Auckland, Part 1
 

What’s an auck? It is not a What. It was a Who. Auckland was named for George Eden, the 1st Earl of Auckland (1784-1849), a noted Whig politician and colonial administrator. The city was founded in 1840. 

We pulled into the harbor early Monday, with numerous passengers  (not me) in the bow bar at 6:30 a.m., watching the approach. We were docked right downtown, at Queen’s Wharf, so we could come and go from the ship at will.

Not having a scheduled tour until the afternoon, I took myself on a 2+ hour walk all around downtown, including a stroll through an arcade... I call this one ‘Self Portrait with Possum’...

​...and ended up at the Auckland Art Gallery. Wonderful building with a lot of New Zealand art, some of it quite interesting (to me).

A 19th-century painting hung above a fabulous eight-part photograph with the most eye-popping detail in the island vegetation in panels 3-6.

The Obliteration Room. Everyone is given a sheet of sticky dots to apply wherever there’s a sliver of space left open. Those are real people, not part of the installation.

‘Change/Exchange’ 2008-2016 by Christine Hellyar. Each of the 120 individual frames is filled with a few items that represent the exchange of goods between indigenous peoples and European traders and settlers and the change that this interaction represents.  

Close-up of 4 of the 120 frames. Spoons... sealing wax... fishing lures made of shell... binding wrapped around cardboard. Each assemblage was, to me, exquisite. 

Kept walking and, by the time I got back to the ship, my phone had clocked over 13,000 steps, or 5-1/2 miles. But I had not bungee-jumped off the Skytower! 

After lunch back on the ship, I went on an afternoon bus tour all around town. Auckland is a great little city — its own PR says it’s the third most livable city on the globe! Known as ‘The City of Sails,’ it is positively MAD for sailing. Lots of plots downtown have had their old buildings torn down and have new buildings going up, including hotels to accommodate the 2021 America’s Cup participants. Each boat that competes brings with it 2,000 people — crew, support, PR, etc. Then there are the spectators. And the Malaysian gazillionaire who comes in on his behemoth $450 million yacht with a crew of 65. Much of the investment in Auckland comes from Canada, Singapore… and China. The Cup has as great an influence on this city’s economy as the Olympics do wherever they’re held. 

The tour included a stop at the glass houses of the Wintergarden in Auckland Domain Park. Don’t these celosia remind you of troll dolls?

Once upon a time i saw an old photo of a small child standing on one of these...

Gingerbread abounds in houses and even this church.

Local park. Beautiful siting high on a hill overlooking the harbor. Boring municipal plantings. 

Like Hawai’i, New Zealand is ‘built’ on volcanoes — and experiences between 15,000 and 30,000 ‘shakers’ a year! In spite of that, it is a wonderful city and we all loved visiting it!

More tomorrow... I need a couple sea days to catch up but we’re not getting one until we finish off New Zealand on Feb 4!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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