Down Under 2014 - Day 3 - Auckland, New Zealand                                                 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

 

Upon arriving at the hotel at 5am, we slept for 3.5 hours and then we had to be up for our first activity. Today, we had planned a SkyWalk and SkyJump experience on top of Sky Tower in Auckland, New Zealand. It was a gorgeous sunny, 70-degree, no wind, winter day. I wish our winters were that mild!
Welcome to New Zealand!
Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower that sits 1,076 feet high, making it the tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The first activity of the day was to complete the Sky Walk , in which you inch along a narrow walkway around the Sky Tower, high above Auckland. During your walk it is only you and your harness, no handrails, as you enjoy the unobstructed views of Auckland from 630 feet.  We learned so much about the city from our guides and the others in our group. One interesting fact is that Auckland was formed by 55 volcanoes in the area and the city sits entirely on steep inclines.
After finishing this activity and calming our shaky legs we ventured out to the ledge of the Sky Walk in order to participate in the Sky Jump, New Zealand’s highest jump!

The Sky Jump is a 630 foot jump where you reach speeds of 52mph. This was an exhilarating jump and yet another experience to add to our list!

Sky Tower
Atop Sky Tower
Preparing for the Sky Walk and Sky Jump
Sky Walk out over Auckland....eek!
After our morning’s experiences, it was off to explore the city! It was fun walking the streets, doing a little shopping, and having lunch. We loved the feel of Auckland with its clean streets, friendly people, eclectic restaurants and shopping. Auckland is a beautiful city with harbors, marinas, volcanoes, mountains, and beautiful water that sparkles from the obsidian glass in the sand.  

After lunch, Zeb wanted to go visit the crater of the largest volcano that formed Auckland, so that we did! The crater is 164 feet deep and provides beautiful views of the city and surrounding areas. After a little hiking and a few yoga poses, from Zeb of course, it was time to head south towards our next destination.

Overlooking Auckland
There are 52 volcanoes that make up Auckland, here is one of the many craters throughout the city.
Yoga in Auckland
Yoga in Auckland
Yoga in Auckland
Our next destination was the Waitomo District, about 3 hours south of Auckland. The Waitomo District is rural New Zealand countryside with gorgeous green rolling hills and small mountains and all the cattle and sheep you could ask for, a huge contrast to our day in Auckland. We will spend two nights here as we explore the Waitomo Glowworm Caves and participate in a cave rafting and abseiling (repelling) experience.
Gorgeous drive to the Waitomo District

We are excited for our fun and adventerous day tomorrow in Waitomo!

 

Good night from Waitomo!
 
Amanda

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