1 December 2019
The predicted showers were nowhere to be seen as we docked in Auckland but my head cold seems to be getting worse. With this in mind we decided not to take the longer trip to Waiheke Island but to take the ferry to Devonport. There was no rush so after breakfast we disembarked to find that Auckland is much like Sydney. We had docked at Queens Wharf which like Circular Quay is right at the end of the main city streets and beside the ferries. As we left the ship they were selling the passes for the Hop on Hop Off buses which included the ferry to Devenport and that seemed like a good plan. With the ferry terminal next door we exchanged our pass for the return ferry ticket and managed to catch the 10am ferry. Devenport is on the north shore and only about a 10 minute ferry trip. From the wharf here you can take lovely photos of Auckland city and the area is historic with various walks and a lot of cafe dining. We arrived to find markets by the wharf and a Santa parade started shortly after we had coffee and taken some of our photos. It was fun to join in the festivities.
After an hour or so we took the ferry back to Auckland and found the stop for the bus. We had to wait for a second bus as a lot of people had done the same as us. We had decided to only take the red line as I was meeting a friend at the Sky Tower at 3pm. The bus took us along the working port which is right beside the harbour and then along the harbour to Bastion Point. It would have been nice to take in the views at this outlook but we had decided to stay on board to stop 4 at Parnell Rose Gardens. The rose gardens again were in bloom and a walk down the hill gave us views of the harbour via this cove and pool area which will be very popular in summer.
From here the fun started with the Hop on Hop off bus system. Just missing one bus we waited 35 minutes for the next (should have been 20) and on reaching the War Memorial Museum we were informed that the red bus route was changing to the blue bus route. We alighted to find about 40 people not at all happy as the same things had happened to them. The next three buses were also blue routes so Julie and I decided to catch a taxi directly to the Sky Tower so we could have some lunch – lucky we had that coffee and cake at Devonport. There was one taxi and for $20 it was money well spent. We did offer for anyone to join us but didn’t have any takers. We arrived at Sky Tower, found a cafe for lunch and messaged my friend to meet us there. After a good chat Julie and I worked back to the ship with a little time to spare and I went to bed. Julie took in the production show that night while I slept.