Two ladies we met at a craft fair near Seafood Central suggested that visiting the Zoo was a must-do in Auckland and that, on the other hand, the Aquarium not so great—more of a tourist trap. So based on that advice, we chose the zoo as the destination for our last day in Auckland. It was a bright, sunny day—finally! We walked to the Downtown Shopping Center for a quick breakfast, then caught the local bus that stopped at the zoo.
The zoo houses its creatures in their natural habitats and, this day at least, there were very few animals to be seen, with the exception of very large ones. Even the birds in the aviaries managed to stay quite well hidden, except for an occasional shaking branch. One nice surprise was viewing small crocodiles in a river setting and seeing one move along the water to the shore.
The vegetation was dense, in some areas like a rainforest, and there was natural beauty at ever turn–small waterfalls, bubbling brooks, native plants and trees. However, the paths were circuitous, directions were scarce, and the little site map we were given was of little help; therefore, finding our way around was confusing, and we sometimes found ourselves re-tracing our steps—a rather tiring exercise as the heat and humidity increased. When we finally found our way back to the entrance/exit, we had a cold drink and headed back to the bus stop.
We got off the bus at the city transit center, called the Britomart, and walked the short way to the harbor for drinks at the Botswana Butchery (a name that would surely be considered politically incorrect at home), a restaurant with outside seating, and sipped on glasses of rose and cider to wind down and cool off from the day’s activities. Then we boarded the bus back to the Sky Tower and our last evening in Auckland. The next day we were flying to Sydney to catch up with our friends and looking forward to that with great anticipation.