Started today much later and in a slightly worse mood, both due to lack of sleep catching up. Today was Touring Auckland day, which we initiated by taking the free loop bus all the way around its route, staying on and doing half of it again before getting off at the top of the hill. The free bus had an odiferous homeless guy sleeping in the back, as they tend to, but it was otherwise a nice service.
We got off at Allbert Park, a very formal, very British and very floral public park overlooking the city. Did a loop around there, then walked across the university to the Auckland Domain, a much larger and wilder open space, somewhat in the mold of Central Park, only with fewer people and a cricket field. It also had a duck pond which, since it's early spring here, was well stocked with adorable little fluffy ducklings. Keeping to the Victorian theme*, we visted the Winter Garden, a pair of flower-stocked hothouses flanking a courtyard and accompanied by a fernery (ferns being something of a feature of New Zealand's native flora).
I realize, as I write it, that all of this sounds mind-numbingly dull, but it was really quite nice.
Fortunately for the dullness-quotient of this post, we bypassed the Auckland Museum, with its extensive displays on Maori history and culture and the roles** played by New Zealanders in various wars, because it was such a nice day. Instead, we went on to a nearby historic house, occupied by a local headmaster back in the nineteenth century and currently curated by a friendly little old lady, who took us on a very thorough tour of the approximately four rooms, totally devoid of any items of interest, unless you are a huge fan of mediocre watercolors. But she was nice, and the house was historic, and what the heck, right?
*Note: We do not actually plan our days around themes, I just use them to try and make the posts somewhat more coherent.