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We stroll through New Zealand’s past at the Auckland Museum, then sail up NZ’s fabulous east coast

I was really excited about going to Auckland - my first time ever in New Zealand and, well, I had heard good things. And the Auckland Museum was truly wonderful.

First, let me rant just a bit about this around-the-world itinerary which, for the most part, is pretty great (I would not be onboard otherwise.)

But why, on this magnificent Earth that we are circumnavigating, did the MSC officials decided to spend three days in Papua New Guinea and just one day in New Zealand?!?! It's a travesty! There is much speculation among passengers that it is cheaper to dock in PNG than NZ.

The truncated visit explains this shorter than average post about a great country that I will re-visit..

Our one day in New Zealand was spent in Auckland which, while lovely, was still recovering from a flood that was followed by a cyclone. And, other than a really tall tower, it is not much different to any mid-sized Canadian port city.

The only off-ship excursion offered (the cyclone forced the cancellation of everything else) was a transfer to the Auckland Museum which houses a completely fabulous collection of New Zealand artifacts - lots of nautical things, paddles, clubs and other weaponry.

It inexplicably also has lots of dinosaurs even though the literature provided by the museum makes it clear there is no indication that dinosaurs ever roamed the islands. Though there were giant Moa that were hunted to extinction by the Maori.

The third floor was a war tribute that I found less enticing - I am interested in Canadian war history but ... other countries battles? ... not so much.

There is also a large section dedicated to volcanoes which hang like the sword of Damocles over Auckland and could erupt at any moment causing death and destruction.

One room in the museum mimics what would happen should you have the misfortune to be in a local apartment when all volcanic hell breaks loose. Most disconcerting but also quite a trip.

So, I do not regret a moment spent at the museum.

But i was done after two hours.

So Josie, Virginia, and I walked through the downtown shopping area and caught a hop-on bus around the city which was ... um ... underwhelming.

We walked through the city for a couple kilometres. Then we grabbed lunch at a crowded sushi bar, and headed back to the ship.

I drank wine as we pulled away from port and sailed along the west coast of New Zealand. That was, without question, the most amazing part of the day. From the sea, the ragged green and mountainous country is positively spectacular. This picture does not do it justice.

Sydney, Australia is coming up! And I have two amazing tours booked. So I am pretty hyped for what lies ahead.

The night before Auckland there was a masquerade ball ... figure, even though it is out of chronological order, it was festive and I should leave with that.


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