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New Zealand Travel Guide: Sky City, Auckland

February 28, 2009

Day Two, Part Two

The Sky Tower, from Ponsonby Road

The Sky Tower, from Ponsonby Road

For my last afternoon in Auckland I consulted one of those free guidebooks they hand out everywhere and went through a list of Things to See.

So, for my last afternoon in Auckland I took a quick peek in the temporary Art Gallery (the real one is under construction) and walked Ponsonby Road with all its cafes, bookshops, pubs and chocolate stores. (That’s two so far. I’ll keep count as I go.)

In the evening I decided to check out Sky City, the hotel/casino complex under the Sky Tower, the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere.

I was in Vegas less than a month ago and wanted to compare this place to its American counterparts. As you might guess, there really is no comparison.

Sky City is nice, kind of chic, with a few fancy resturants. Not huge though, no dancing water or light shows or men in sequins with tigers. Similar to Vegas though, only about half of the gambling tables were staffed and none of them looked too busy. I lost $2 in a slot machine, decided not to lose any more, and left the casino floor.

It looks even taller when you're right under it.

It looks even taller when you're right under it.

Next, I went to the ticket booth to see about going to the top of the tower, but at just under $30, I couldn’t really get excited about it. It’s not exactly the Eiffel Tower, and the sky was so overcast I wasn’t sure how much of Auckland I would be able to see. Instead, I hopped a bus back to my hostel and took myself out to dinner at one of the trendy Indian cafes in the area.

Then there was packing to do. Oh,so much packing. It’s amazing what a mess you can make in two days, but it all had to go back in my backpack. The next morning I was getting on the Magic Bus and heading south, to Rotorua.

Keep going: On to Waitomo and Rotorua

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