Sun. May 19th, 2024

By Samuel Strait – April 14, 2024

Having been on the island of Nuie for nearly two weeks, it would be remiss of me not to relate how I got here.  After thirty some hours of flying, and waiting for connecting flights, I found myself in Auckland, New Zealand.  Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city at somewhere around a million and a half citizens.  As one of the primary destinations for traveling onward throughout the Pacific, entry was surprisingly trouble free.  A few questions, and out through officialdom, I was in country as we used to call it while in the service.  One problem, it was 8:00 am and I wasn’t due to check in to my accommodations until 3:00 pm, what to do?

Since this time through I was only planning on a few days in Auckland, and planned on a more extensive period following a month in Nuie, I had time to check out car rentals, collect some NZ$, and check email before a trip to find some breakfast.  Checking in with my accommodations host, I learned that I could gain access at 11:00 and set out to find a ride.  Supervan to the rescue, a door to door transport service that quickly shuttled me to my accomodation for less than $15.00 ($NZ 30).  The rental apartment was next to Auckland’s main park and two down hill blocks to the Central Business District on Queen’s Street.  So far, other than a hoard of young people from the university, and a definite introduction to the vast array of different cultures found in the city, Auckland felt a lot like being in Oregon.

Well, maybe the English was a bit of an adjustment, as well as the multiple other languages spoken around me.  There is a heavy influence of Southeast Asia and China in the City.  One other thing I hadn’t factored in was it was a holiday weekend, Easter, and the streets were filled with out of town visitors.  Nevertheless, I spent four days checking out the offerings in this large metropolis and found that much of what is to be experienced in urban centers was readily available in Auckland.  Well maybe there wasn’t as many homeless visible, but much of the rest of big city failings were on offer.

I worked through a list of sites in the city, museums, of which there are plenty, a harbor stroll, and the few remaining buildings from when Auckland was an eighteenth century outpost of the British Empire.  The sea, which was the primary focus of New Zealand in its infancy, remains a huge player in servicing many of the Pacific Islands to this day,  While many of the islands of the Pacific were once part of growing New Zealand Empire at the end of the nineteenth century, most have become independent nations  as New Zealand has herself.  Yet, the country itself remains an important part of island life and continues to send support and sustenance to its former colonies.

A few days in Auckland, another transfer to Auckland Airport via Supervan, and a three and a half hour 1500 mile flight to the middle of the Ocean.  Nuie here I come.

2 thoughts on “On the road again, Auckland”
  1. Hey Sam,
    What unusual food did you try if any. What did the air smell like? I know that is sort of a funny type of question but I know when I went to CanCun the air was fermented with lime. In Maui the air scent of their tropical flowers. Singapore boasted the smell of primate poop. Well you get the picture. Hope your having a fabulous time.

    1. Actually it smells much like the ocean as Auckland is pretty much surrounded by the ocean. Food has a definate nod to oriental food, as much of the population comes from southeast Asia, China, or Japan. At least from what I saw in the city center. I am told it is much different elsewhere. I will be able to say more about that when I go back to Auckland and drive around a bit on North Island.

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