Looking for an exotic holiday?

Not too far from home?

The exchange rate is good.

The locals are friendly.

Spectacular beaches with wineries minutes away….

All of the above are wording from a recent advert on TV here by Tourism Auckland, advertising Auckland as an exciting and vibrant place to be, essentially pitching Auckland as an international city within New Zealand. The advert shows a young Kiwi couple in an alien city, complete with air-kissing glamour girls and a waitress in need of interpretation, you can check it out for yourself here: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832532

Auckland gets a bad press from anyone outside of Auckland, and in a way I don’t blame them, there is an arrogance here which you don’t get elsewhere in New Zealand and there is a LOT of wealth, and house prices are beyond expensive. Such is the distaste some kiwis have for Auckland, they call Aucklanders, JAFAs – I’ll leave you to break down the acronym because it is RUDE.

Anyhow, the point is Auckland is BIG on itself and to some Aucklanders, everything else in New Zealand pales to insiginficance in comparison. I disagree with that sentiment, but I have to agree, Auckland packs a big punch and there is lots to do! So much so, Mrs. E and I are preparing an Auckland ‘To Do’ list, because there is SO much to do. Essentially, as this website states, it is a BIG, little city: http://www.biglittlecity.co.nz/

The other weekend, we went to the Art Gallery, sorry no pics (we were not allowed to take any), but check out their website here: http://www.aucklandartgallery.com/ There is lots of cool art for one to look at, ingest, contemplate, think about, or whatever one does with art – the point is, it is there to be enjoyed, it’s FREE and we enjoyed it.

Mrs. E then went for a coffee and I popped up to Albert Park which is just a few blocks up from Queen St. Albert Park dates back to as early as the 1840s, and has a bronze statue of Queen Victoria and even has a bandstand! There are several other old memorials and artworks within the park, and the park as a whole reminded me of an English Rose Park. Queen St. and the Sky Tower are within stone’s throws distance – check out the juxtaposition between the statue of Queen Victoria and the Skytower in the slide show below (yuk, did I really say that?)…

I drifted across to the university campus which sits on the fringes of Albert Park. It’s a beautiful old campus. I took a few snaps of some of the buildings which you can see in the slide show below.

Auckland has SO much to do, and as Mrs. E is out and about, I’m dithering as to whether I should a) go to the beach, b) go fishing, or c) go mountain biking. Gah. SO much to do!.

Yet again, Auckland, ta very muchly – you’re a grand Big Little City.

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