After leaving Akaroa we had a sea day to travel up from the south island to the north island for our final stop in New Zealand – Auckland. Usually sea days are fairly quiet with little to report but we did have one exciting experience. On our way to dinner Lance looked out the window of the outside deck and saw some dolphins jumping. We went out to see and saw many Hector dolphins jumping and playing alongside the ship. These are very small dolphins, only found in this area, so it was quite a treat to see them. Every cruise we take we hope to see dolphins but haven’t seen any for many years, it made me very happy!
Today was Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, with over one million residents over 1/3 of the country’s citizens live in this area. We decided to take a hop on-hop off harbor cruise taking us to Devonport and several other stops around the harbor, it turned out not to be a good choice on our part. Devonport was very nice – it is a seaside resort town with lots of pretty Victorian houses and a small shopping area and we enjoyed our time walking around. Unfortunately the chocolate shop was closed so we didn’t get a chance to check it out.
We wandered back to the drop off point to wait for the 12:30 boat to take us to the other stops along the way and waited and waited and waited. At 1:15 we decided the boat wasn’t coming (ha! We catch on quickly!) and walked back to town to another dock where there is a ferry going back to town. We took that ferry then checked in with the company that sold us the hop on-hop off tickets to find out why there wasn’t a boat at 12:30. Apparently they had engine problems and didn’t make that trip. Of course, we had no way of knowing and could have waited out there half the afternoon without getting any info on what was happening. Oh well, we made the best of it and instead of viewing some of the outer bays of Auckland we had time to explore the downtown area and find a souvenir for Kaylie!
Our time in cooler temperatures should be over as we are now headed for Suva, Fiji. This part of the trip will take two days and we arrive in Fiji on April 25. Here we have joined with others from our Cruise Critic roll call to do an island tour including a visit to a local village, Kava ceremony, and more. We are are really looking forward to all of the stops in the South Pacific as they have been on our bucket list for a long time!