The Auckland Explorer Bus offers the opportunity to hop on and hop off at several of the city’s more notable attractions. The tickets include a ferry ticket to Devonport. The brochure says that each of the two routes offered takes an hour to complete. That may be true, but only if you don’t get off at any of the stops. Jenya and I spent the day, about 5 hours, using the buses. We hope to use the ferry ticket tomorrow.
The first place we hopped off at was Bastion Point. We walked around the summit and looked at the harbors, islands, and Auckland itself. It was a nice vantage point, but we didn’t linger too long here as the main attraction was the view.
While Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life was on the route, it wasn’t really on our list because of the cost involved. Plus, it has penguins and seems like something that would be left for a better day. We continued on to the Parnell Rose Gardens, where there are supposed to be 5,000 roses or more. We walked down to Judges Bay where we were able to touch the water and enjoy the trees along the way. We visited the roses last. The beautiful smell of the air was amazing.
The Wintergardens was our next stop. Apparently, there’s a corpse flower plant somewhere in the gardens, but we didn’t recognize it if we saw it. There were plenty of pitcher plants in one section and pansies in the other. The Fern Frenzy walk was full of… ferns… which I guess you probably knew before I finished writing that part of the sentence. We ate at the café there. Corn Fritters with parmesan and kale – it was really good.
Our next stop was Eden Garden, but we didn’t spend enough time here. The coffee was good. The chickens were funny with their mop top feathers, and the blackbird with the orange bill decided to look at us while we sat at the table. Then, it decided to have a seat.
We went to Mt. Eden after that. Somehow, we took a wrong turn and wound up on a path that was closed for repairs. It was too late to do anything but wait for the last bus by the time we got back to the right path. Sometimes, you just have to follow road and not try to make your own.
It was nice to see how big Auckland really is and get some ideas about what to do with our free day. With the ferry bonus for tomorrow, this may be one of the more cost-effective tours we’ve booked. It was great to get some history and commentary about what we were seeing.