15 January 2012

New Zealand: Auckland

So our final stop in New Zealand was Auckland.  Yet another city on the coast, something that is fast becoming a permanent resident on my life checklist, Auckland has a modern feel with lots of contemporary architecture.  Of course, New Zealand's history lies in its nature, which explains why it is fiercely protective of it and strives to preserve it wherever possible.  An example of this unique natural environment is the island of Rangitoto, which was formed when a volcano erupted about 600 years ago.  Succession has taken hold of most of the island, covering it with trees and plants, but large areas of lava still remain.

The father on the lava!

The crater of the volcano

Actual succession! (biology geek)
The coolest part of our exploration of Rangitoto was walking through caves that had been formed by molten lava.  This would so not have been allowed in the UK.

The father outside a lava cave

Inside a lava cave, my flash cancelled out how pitch black it was!
And so to my favourite part of the whole trip, you guessed it: there were animals involved.  Dolphins to be exact.  Hundreds of them.  We even saw a mother and baby whale.  Here are some photos I managed to snap when I wasn't a little bit awestruck or crying.  I'm not joking.

That slug thing there is a whale.  Honest.
Our view on the boat back to Auckland
We also went up another volcano: Mount Eden, and were treated to some pretty stunning views.

The crater
So this concludes my New Zealand adventure.  Beautiful country, friendliest people I've ever met and oh yeah we saw a bit of rugby.  Sweet.

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