My lovely, and lucky, sister flew away yesterday for an journey across the United States. In Los Angeles she had one of those stop overs which is too long to sit in an airport lounge and just long enough to have an adventure so she hopped on a local bus and spent a couple of hours getting some sunshine and stretched legs in Manhattan Beach, a beachfront town famously home to many celebrities and professional sports people (we’re talking VERY famous people) and a popular film location (Jerry McGuire, 2012, Against All Odds, Starsky & Hutch, the list goes on and on).
I started to wonder what people do if they have a lay over in Auckland. As Auckland is always my final destination, I have no first hand experience of this so I’ve let my mind wander, unfortunately to nowhere as glamorous as Manhattan Beach but still a heck of a lot better than the inside of an airport, even one as comfortable as Auckland’s.
The obvious thing to do is to jump on the Airbus Express and head into Auckland city. It’s a journey of about 40 -50 minutes which wanders through suburban Auckland and eventually down Queen Street, Auckland’s main commercial street to the Ferry Building. If there are calm seas and sunny skies you could do worse than hop off the bus and onto a ferry for a blast of sea air (great for jet lag) and some magnificent city views.
There are a choice of ferry trips but the shortest and the easiest if you aren’t kitted out with walking shoes, water bottle and a picnic lunch is the Devonport ferry. Devonport is a pretty suburb with Victorian villas, cafes, bookshops and art galleries (don’t miss the chocolate shop tucked behind the main street) and great views back to the city. You’ll be able to see the New Zealand navy up close (not as impressive as it sounds) and if you need any basic services there are banks, pharmacies, a supermarket, a great fish ‘n chip shop and a popular barber. For a really good stretch of the legs there’s an 87 metre tall extinct volcano to climb and you’ll get even more spectacular views from the top.
So even although Devonport can’t claim to be a film location of any note or the residence of very famous people (as far as I know), it is a charming place to fill a few hours and you will have the satisfaction of resuming your journey with a great memory of Auckland and her harbour.
Categories: New Zealand