Given the rainy and windy conditions today, we chose to take a staple out of the Ghertner playbook and ride the Get On/Get Off bus. As such, we had an opportunity to visit a number of sites in Auckland including Kelly Tarlton's Underwater Adventure (built out of the disused Auckland Sewer System), the Auckland War Museum (coolest thing in my opinion was a 75 foot war canoe made out of a single tree that could hold 100 warriors) and the top of Mt Eden (one of the many volcanoes that make up modern day Auckland).
Also, got to see Eden Park, the stadium where the All Blacks play rugby matches. As we've found, rugby is a massive deal here and our timing is particularly special as the All Blacks are playing the British & Irish Lions in a 3 match test. The matches, which are played over 3 weeks, occur once every 12 years and have brought 30,000 people from the UK over to New Zealand. The series is tied 1-1 with the final "test" this Saturday at Eden Park.
As for the city, it continues to remind me of San Francisco - very hilly, clean and as we explored a number of the neighborhoods, eerily similar to what I experienced when I lived in SF. Again, people continue to go out of their way to be incredibly friendly, from the bus driver who hopped off the bus to give us some tips for when we go to Melbourne to the convenience store clerk who spotted me $0.50 so I didn't have a fist full of change.
Lastly, you know hot chicken has become a "thing" when you are 8000 miles from home, walk into a restaurant and it is listed on the menu - too funny.
Net net, liked Auckland but 3 days definitely feels like the right amount of time for a visit. Off to Queenstown tomorrow.