New Zealand Travel Guide: Auckland, Part Two

February 26, 2009

Day 1, Part 2
(This is the second report from my 17-day trip to New Zealand and Australia. Keep coming back for more!)

The Auckland Museum

The Auckland Museum

All of Auckland is chirping. Depending on where you are and how much greenery and trees there are around, it can be a low buzz or a deafening, frenzied sawing in your ear.

At first I thought I was heading a weak motor somewhere, but no matter where I went, it followed me. I finally asked a local who told me it’s cicada season here. There must be thousands, tens of thousands, all over town. But even though I hear them everywhere, I haven’t seen a single one.

Walking through the Domain (a common name for a central park area in Australia and NZ) to get to the Auckland Museum, I started to picture myself in a horror movie:

A girl is walking down a lovely, leafy road. Then the chirping starts, quietly at first, growing louder and louder. She sees something fall in front of her. Ack! Oh, just a leaf. Then something falls in her hair. It’s a cricket! But just one, and she brushes it away. Then another one falls, and another, dozens of them begin jumping on her from nearby perches, then hundreds, covering her face and arms and she can’t get away!

But that didn’t happen to me. I made it to the museum completely unharmed, although with a small blister on my toe.

You would have to wear a suit like this to get near an active volcano. Or to take over an alien planet.

You would have to wear a suit like this to get near an active volcano. Or to take over an alien planet.

The Auckland Museum is a really nice place to spend some time getting to know the history and culture of New Zealand. There are exhibits dedicated to Maori culture and heritage, the story of that group and its relationship to the land and sea. There are rooms that show you what life was like in Auckland before, during and after WWII, as well as a large area dedicated to the ANZACs – Australian and New Zealand armed forces who fought at Gallipoli and other battles around the world.

If you’re more interested in animal life, there are heaps of fossils, stuffed animals (the kind that used to be alive) and some real, live animals too. You can also learn more about volcanic activity around Auckland and some of the geological activity that created New Zealand.

And what else are museums good for? Clean restrooms and lots of benches in air conditioned rooms where you can take a load off for a while. The longer you’ve been on the road, the more you appreciate the basics.

WWII Airplane

WWII Airplane

The Auckland Museum is free, but a $5 donation is suggested. You can see it all in two hours if you don’t stop to look at too much, but if you want to play with the exhibits and watch some of the films, allow 3-4 hours.

I was quickly running out of steam by the time I finished the museum, so I did some grocery shopping and called it a night.

Next up: Volcano Hike on Rangitoto Island!

One comment

  1. Uh..nice country. Your guide will be quite helpful for those who travel around Auckland including me in a to travel list. Cheers..!

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