Australia is a wonderful country and it is sad to say goodbye to it. Now, I continue my adventure to New Zealand by taking an 11am flight to Auckland. In my opinion, I find that the New Zealand border is more strict in terms of ensuring visitors are free from biohazard risks. This is understandable because many of New Zealand’s plants and animals are distinctive and originated from the pre-historic ages, free from human influences. Due to its remoteness, New Zealand land was free from human settlers for 25 million years until 1200.
Since the flight took four hours and I lost three hours due to time zone difference. By the time I reached the hostel, it was already 8pm. After my dinner, I headed back to the hostel and get ready for the next day.
In the morning, two of my friends (Catherine and Jessica) flew from Toronto to join my exploration of northern New Zealand.
We explored the city centre of Auckland. Unfortunately due to strong wind, our exploration of the city was quite limited. Nonetheless, I was still able to take some nice pictures of Auckland.
We went up the Sky Tower of Auckland (tallest structure) and had an amazing view of the city.
Afterwards, we went to the Auckland Art Gallery and Albert Park.
After attempting to not get blown away, we decided to call it a day.
Originally, we were scheduled to have a kayak tour and paddle our way to Rangitoto Island (an island directly northeast of Auckland). Unfortunately, due to strong wind and rain, our trip was cancelled. As an alternative activity, we signed up for the local hop on hop off tour bus to explore the outer city. Specifically, we would like to visit the zoo and to check out the famous and iconic kiwi bird. I will explain what a kiwi bird is later.
Aside from the usual and known animals such as giraffes, lions, hippopotamus, we were able to see local New Zealand animals. Most of the local New Zealand species are birds. This includes a takahe, which only has 263 remaining left on our planet.
Below are pictures of me taking artistic photos and Catherine and Jessica’s doing their video blog.
When we arrived at the kiwi hide-out, the room was pitch-black. This is expected because kiwis are blind and are nocturnal dwellers. They are only active during the night and therefore the zoo made their hide-out (at least during the day) to be dark.
Kiwis are flightless birds native to New Zealand. They mostly eat seeds, fruits and varieties of worms. Since kiwis are blind, they rely on their long beaks which have nostrils to locate insects and worms. Currently, kiwis are endangered species. Due to its rarity and uniqueness to New Zealand, the kiwi is a national symbol of New Zealand. Many references in New Zealand are named after kiwis, including kiwi fruit, kiwi people, kiwi bank etc.
After waiting patiently for 20 min, we were finally able to spot a kiwi
While I was trying to explain in my video blog that spotting a kiwi bird was difficult, a kiwi bird magically appeared behind my back.
Throughout our day in the zoo, there were at least 4-5 rain showers. I believe Auckland weather fluctuates extremely frequent such that it is difficult to predict whether it will be rain or shine in the next hour.
At the end, we were able to witness an emu, another national symbol of Australia.
On the same day, we rented a car from Thrifty and headed south for 1.5 hours to reach Hamilton.