Day 101 - Auckland, New Zealand
New Zealand is made up of two islands, the North Island and the South Island. Auckland is on the North Island and is on the east side of the island. Auckland has a population of just over 1 million people. All of New Zealand has a population of just over 4,000,000. Auckland is known as the City of Sails, this is because it has more boats per capita than any other city in the world. Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and is one of the most charming in the country. It is a mix of restored Victorian building and new skyscrapers. The Auckland Sky Tower is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere and the 15th tallest in the world. They offer base jumping off of the tower but we declined for this trip. We only had a half day in Auckland so we decided that we have to come back in the future for at least two weeks to see New Zealand and our Kiwi friends. Since our time was short we decided to go with our friends, Ros and Arnold to see Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World and Antarctic Encounter. It was a wonderful choice for a couple of reasons. One, it was very well done and interesting. They had recreated Scott's Hut. Scott led an Exposition that left from New Zealand for the Antarctica in 1910. We thoroughly enjoyed the Snow-Cat ride through New Zealand's only colony of Sub-Antarctica penguins. They have a colony of around 80 penguins, Kings and one another variety. Two, I got excited on another level because we plan to visit the Falkland Islands in the future to visit with the penguins in the wild. We also visited the Stingray Bay which had three large Stingrays among many other fish. One exhibit was a preserved giant squid found washed up on the South Island of New Zealand's shore. It was a female about 1 year old, 550 lbs. and 36 feet long. Does that make you want to go swimming, soon? There was also a Predator Tank Fish Oceanarium that was overhead, where we went through a Plexiglas tunnel, as we saw the sharks and fish swim by. At the end was Fish Alley with individual aquarium tanks with exotic fish. The whole attraction was built underground. We caught the shuttle back to downtown Auckland and walked around a bit, grabbed a bite of lunch and headed back to the ship. We had a beautiful sail away at the back of the ship. Our friends, Paula and Ray who had gotten off the ship in the morning were at the wharf by their home to give up a wave bye. (Paula we recognized your red Jacket). Next Port, Sydney, Australia and the end of the 104 day, Dawn Princess World Cruise 2011.