FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Farewell to Auckland (again)

Posted in Auckland, New Zealand by folkestonejack on April 18, 2019

Our time in the city of sails has come to an end once again. The last few days in the city gave us a chance to check out exhibitions at the Auckland Art Museum and OrexArt, watch the beginnings of the field of crosses in the domain ahead of Anzac day, play a couple of rounds of mini-golf, meet some lovely horses, eat a final ice cream at Giapo and say an extended farewell to family. The last day is always a little strange, but a relaxed morning at the Pah Homestead was a good way to finish up.

One last sunset at Orakei Wharf

As ever, the end of one trip also means a bit of homework for the next. In the last day or two I visited the tourist information office near the ferry terminal and came out armed with a collection of DOC leaflets that have already helped shape the outline of a possible adventure for our return. I always find that when one trip closes you have the freshest sense of how to make improvements for next time. Our return flight routing definitely falls into that category!

I had come up with a clever plan to counter the jet-lag that usually floors me by flying to Dubai via Sydney, thereby getting in at midnight for a decent night of sleep. This strategy fell apart when the original flight was cancelled, due to the closure of a runway for maintenance. All the advantages of flying indirectly disappeared with that schedule change, but the airline showed little interest in a sensible adjustment. This left us with the best part of a day in Sydney.

It was perhaps a little cruel to see the Emirates A380 that had brought us to Auckland three weeks ago sitting on the apron as we boarded our Qantas A330 bound for Sydney. Nevertheless, I was determined to make the best of our new schedule, especially as it is unlikely that I will ever spend much time in Australia. Time to begin our slow four day homeward trek.

The Qantas A330 waiting to take us to Sydney

Our flight (QF146) took off on time, flying over the Manukau Heads with a superb view of the impressive line of cliffs we had been admiring from Whatipu just a few days earlier. The flight was relatively short, which was perhaps just as well with a malfunctioning in flight entertainment system and one of the blandest airline meals I have ever sampled. The sun was already setting over Sydney as we landed.

The day finally drew to a conclusion with a lovely meal at a glass-fronted restaurant overlooking the Sydney Opera House in perfect time to see a short firework display. Maybe it was always meant to work out this way.


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