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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This was a bit of a "homecoming" for me returning back to where I lived for 7 years of my life. My family still lives in Auckland, and my wife's family came over from Beijing to join us for Christmas in New Zealand and to enjoy the summer weather that we were sure to be blessed with. We toured the North Island of the country all the way from Northland to Wellington and back, so this photo thread will cover a good swathe of the country. We didn't do the South Island in this trip, though if anyone is interested I have photos from Dunedin back in 2011!

So without further ado, here are my first few days in Auckland.

Just to get started, we started driving towards Mission Bay from Eastern Auckland.

Travelling from the South Eastern Highway to the Southern Motorway. I was driving, so my wife took the photos.


This is the view I had almost every day when I commuted to University in the centre of Auckland. The Southern Motorway.


Views of greenery across one of the most exclusive suburbs in Auckland where all the old money lives - Remuera!


Beautiful, blue waters.


Mission Bay is popular for a reason.




Shame about it being a bit car-centric. The bike lane is very poor unfortunately.


Bridge to the beach.


Pohutakawa trees - very pretty and quite unique to this part of the world. They're known as the Christmas tree of New Zealand as they flower at this time of year.


Across the grassy park near the beach.


Beachfront.


So here is the start of my tour. Lots more to come! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Okay, time to continue with the next set! This lot are from Ponsonby in the western inner city (about 1km from the centre). A quirky and now rather expensive area that was previously considered undesirable. Now full of artists and food offerings that are, frankly, excellent.

So without further ado, I'll show you some pictures.

Firstly, your standard "villa road" in Auckland.











Standalone building that stood out rather a lot. I like the design.



People on Ponsonby Road.



The main street with eating establishments and bars lining it.



Quirky bar.


Intersection.




View to the city centre.



Some older buildings in the area.



And not so old...



An excellent restaurant/cafe called "Little Bird" in Ponsonby. This place specialises in "raw food", so basically serves only uncooked food (except for the dish I had actually that had a cooked dosa).



The food! I had a cooked buckwheat dosa with vegetables and home made curry sauce.


Sister had the tacos with couscous and home made guacamole.


Mum had the raw thai salad with home made fermented chilli sauce. This was the best dish of them all actually.



View down the street.



Looking out to the mountains in the west.



Back to Ponsonby Road.



Very impressive church here.



Managed to sneak inside and take some photos.





Converted industrial buildings.



Pristine example of a typical inner city Auckland villa.



That's it for this set. Next set is in Western Springs, a large park in the inner west of Auckland.

BONUS SHOT: One of my cats that I left behind in New Zealand with my family felt festive. :lol:

 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
So here we are, the next set starting at Western Springs Park in inner-west Auckland.

Firstly, an ex-Melbourne tourist tram on the loop around the Transport Museum (MOTAT). Close to here is Auckland zoo as well - a really nice zoo (though I didn't visit this time).

The tram.





Pathway up to the park.



Black Swan.



And ducks!



Little lake in the park.



Pukeko and its baby!



Common Seagull I think.



Back across the lake.



Pukeko on its nest.



Bridge over a stream.



Just in case you were getting peckish.



More of the lake.



Coot.



Lilly pond.



Final shot of the lake before we leave.



Next set are from two shopping centres in Auckland (and one of the biggest in New Zealand) - Sylvia Park (biggest) and Botany Town Centre.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, they are all over the place, but are particularly evident in this park. The next set focuses more on the built environment, though. I know that's what most people here find most interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
A shorter update here showcasing a couple of Auckland's suburban malls. I drove everyone to one of my favourite malls in Auckland on the way back from Western Springs Park called Sylvia Park.

Just in case we forgot that it was Christmas due to all the sunshine and summer wear, here is a Christmas display at Sylvia Park.



Central area.









The "indoor-outdoor flow" that Sylvia Park is well known for. It tries to replicate an outdoor shopping experience in this second section. This section is actually underneath the South Eastern Highway.



Sylvia Park is one of the only malls with a high quality transit corridor - it has its own train station on the Auckland suburban network, and this central section actually has an electronic timetable here.



Christmas tree in the central atrium.



This central section is quite nice in good weather.





The third section to the mall - here we see the second interior section.



Looking back to the atrium.



Now we go onwards to Botany Town Centre. This shopping centre is located in the most car-centric district of Auckland - East Auckland (where I used to live actually). It's a nice town centre.



Greenery.



Supermarket as part of the shopping centre.



Opera singer with a Ukulele singing Christmas carols. When in Rome!



That's it for now. Next trip is a trip (by public transport actually) to the city centre. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
So here we go, next set of photos of our trip towards the city centre. We start proceedings in the suburb of Ellerslie, which is where my sister lives. This suburb is a middle-class "inner" suburb to the south east of Auckland CBD.

View down my sisters driveway.



View down the street.



Little suburban park at the end of her street - great for playing rugby.



Walking along to Ellerslie centre.



Some flowers in peoples gardens.







Rather large road intersection at Ellerslie centre.



Ellerslie Domain (park).



Town Square.



Main street.



Food at the cafe that we stopped at for breakfast!

Eggs, bacon and mushrooms.



Poached egg on field mushrooms.



Eggs benedict.



Bacon and caramelised onion roll.



Back on the main street.



Ellerslie pub.



Heading to the train station.



Ellerslie station.



Turned out we had 30 minutes until the next train to central Auckland, so we went for a walk on the other side of the station, but I'll wait until next time so show you that lot. :)
 

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It's eclectic and arty. House prices have zoomed to astronomical heights as Auckland has embraced its inner city again. It used to be (much like Parnell the sister suburb on the eastern side of the city centre) a slum-like area. Now it's very elite, but still quirky. Gentrification has definitely taken hold of the area yielding the results one sees in the picture of that pristinely maintained villa at the end of the Ponsonby photo set. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Here we go with the next set of pictures then. :)

Here we have the view from Ellerslie Train station. You can see the Southern Motorway.



View of Ellerslie to the west of the station while we waited for the train to arrive.



A primary school. My sister went for dance classes here previously.



Typical street.



Entrance to the train station.



These are a big improvement here - electronic signs for the next train! Much better than having to read the timetable.



The rail network of Auckland (taken on the train).



View from the train to the Skytower.



Britomart train station. Not long after this the diesel trains were being phased out. Will be great to see this underground station not have diesel locomotives here any more.





Scary looking locomotive hauling the train.



The far exit to the station into a newly developed shopping area.





This area has improved a LOT since I moved to Auckland back in 2005. It used to be nothing but car parks. Now, it looks kinda cool.















Entrance to Britomart Transit Centre (train station basically).





The old part of the station (used to be the General Post Office or GPO).



Timetables.



That's it for this set. We explore the city centre in the next set. :)
 
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