…and so we left the war memorial and moved down to the Winter Gardens. The gardens house two greenhouses separated by a pool on the corners of which are 4 statues, representing each of the four seasons. The first greenhouse housed all sorts of flowers and the second was a hot house for tropical plants.
We were lucky, or unlucky, I can’t decide which, to be there just as the Corpse Flower was starting to blossom. The last time it blossomed, over 17000 people came to see it, braving its rotting smell. Not being too fond of the smell of rotting meat, we passed on coming back to see it in full bloom and finally left the warm and toasty Austen-like greenhouse to head to Devonport’s popular landmark- Mt. Victoria also known as Takarunga
Up on the freezing Mt. Victoria (well, it really was freezing at that point), is an old disappearing gun installed for fear of pending Russian invasion (which obviously never happened). The gun, Dawn told us, was only fired once – a test round- after citizen’s complained of the sound. As we drove around Devonport we came across the Michael King Writers’ Centre, a great place for writers to find inspiration, we mutually concluded. Devonport has some great shops but we were pressed for time and instead headed towards Westhaven (which coupled as our toilet break). It was there that we finally realized how aptly named Auckland is, as the City of Sails, with almost everyone owning a sailboat. Incidentally, Auckland also has one of the highest rates of car ownership in the world.
We got a great view of the Auckland Harbour bridge but were not daredevil enough to try the bungee jump. If I’m not jumping of Sky Tower towards a concrete pavement I’m not jumping of a bridge into the deep blue either. They have the option of a bridge climb too which looks like a much safer albeit less thrilling option.
This was the last stop before the wilderness tour in the afternoon and we made our way back after passing Kelly Tarton’s Sea Life Aquarium which we were amazed to learn was an aquarium built using unused underground sewage tanks. Who would ever imagine that such a place would house penguins one day!
Stay tuned for Day 5- Part 3