Had a lovely breakfast at our B&B and then battled with the laptop, the internet and the blog update for a bit.  Eventually got fed up (which is why there are no pictures on here yet) and went out to explore the city.  Walked over to Auckland Museum first.  It’s a pretty good museum – the exhibits are laid out well, although they could do with a bit more information.  The ground floor is dedicated to NZ Heritage, the middle floor to the natural world and the top floor to military history.  They had the replica T-Rex of the recent find in Chicago, known as Sue, on loan in the museum and we enjoyed the exhibition.  It appeared the Sioux Indians, on whose land the bones were found, were right royally screwed over (as usual) by the Americans when the find was sold for something like $8.9m.  We had lunch at the museum and a spooky moment when we thought we saw Sylvia (John’s mother) – obviously an NZ doppelganger.  After several hours John recovered from this shock and we decided to walk over to Sky Tower.  This is a 328m tower (that’s taller than the Eiffel Tower, the Sydney Tower and a tower in Vienna no-one’s ever heard of).  We paid an extortionate amount to go to the top in a sick-inducing lift.  You do get great views from the top, but what is more amusing is watching people throw themselves off!  If you’re insane enough you can pay to bungy jump off the top of the building and people were queuing up to do this.  Needless to say, we didn’t join them.

We then returned to Braemar and Ursula picked us up in the early evening and drove us over to Mount Eden (volcano).  I’m pretty sure this is where I had my photo taken in 1989 the last time I visited Auckland so we had a revival photo for comparison.  It’s beautiful at the top of Mount Eden and free!  A much better option than Sky Tower.  But watch out for the killer cows – don’t run otherwise they’ve been known to chase tourists!  Cows are encouraged to graze around the volcano to monitor the seismic activity (no – not really!  just to keep the grass down).  Ursula then drove us over to Mission Bay on the coastline where we had pizza and ice cream for dinner.  On the way to the restaurant we had to watch out for runners, rollerbladers etc.  In fact almost the entire population is obsessed with sport – when not doing it they are watching it on TV.  We also noticed that there are no elderly or unfit people in sight and asked Ursula whether Auckland had some sort of culling process in place?  She said most elderly people retire to Nelson.  We think this means there is a compound somewhere south that Kiwi’s are sent to when they can no longer run or participate in active sport!  Those that don’t make it there are doubtless culled by the road-crossing system because the pedestrian light always changes half-way across the road (even if you run).