We found a city of over 1.2 million people (dramatic pause)! Aukland. We knew there must be people in New Zealand somewhere and it turns out they're all hiding here disguised as hipsters and grasping coffee cups whilst they go about their busy days apparently oblivious to the quaint middle earth that makes up the rest of their country! I think I almost detected some stress on peoples faces and more than one person looked like they may well be doing a 9 to 5!
We had only a very limited time in Aukland as we were working on the assumption that you don't come to NZ for the cities and we were probably right, although Aukland is a very nice and modern city. We spent our first evening wandering the center with its high rise offices and apartment blocks and pretty little harbour before catching a movie at the cinema. (The Grand Budhapest Hotel if you are wondering, great movie check it out).
The next day the sun was out and we went to explore a bit more of the city by daylight. We wandered through The Domain which is the main park in Aukland with pretty winter gardens and tropical and cool houses. We also went on 'Lovers Walk' a wander through the park passed a stream and through a tunnel of trees, we had to cut this walk short however as Rosa kept trying to hold my hand! I don't know what came over her.
The evening was the main event in Aukland for us, a trip to Eden Park! New Zealand's answer to Twickenham and where the last rugby world cup final was held. We had tickets for the rugby game between Blues (Aukland) and Reds (Queensland Australia). We went for a few pre-drinks at a nice Belgian bar called Occidental before heading to the ground. The stadium did not disappoint and a decent crowd was pulled in. We had some half decent seats and on display tonight were players such as Quade Cooper (his 100th game incidentally and being oh so popular in NZ he got the honour of running out first to some serious boos, couldn't happen to a nicer guy....), James Horwill, Piri Weepu and Nonu among other NZ and Aussie internationals, quite a line up! Having been given flags and other paraphernalia to wave we made like the locals and soaked in the atmosphere! It was a great game with Blues running out easy victors 44 to the Reds 14. On the way home we swung passed the Occidental again for a pre-bed drink and thoroughly enjoyed our last night in Aukland!