The D&O Diary’s antipodean sojourn continued this week with a quick visit to the pleasant and prosperous country of New Zealand. Readers who saw my description of our recent Australia visit know we enjoyed beautiful summer weather while we were there. Although I would never had thought it possible, the summer weather in New Zealand may have been even better, as the pictures below show.
Our New Zealand visit did not start out auspiciously. We were greeted with rain upon arrival in Auckland, and our first full day began with a soaking summer shower followed by several morning hours of rain. Our plan for the day had been to visit the island of Waiheke in the Hauraki Gulf, about a 45-minute ferry ride from Auckland. Despite the rain, the island ferry was packed and we had to stand in line for hours just to make the crossing in both directions — it turns out that we were visiting Auckland on Waitangi Day, the NZ national holiday celebrating the 1840 treaty signing between British authorities and Māori chieftains. It seems that many locals had decided to celebrate the holiday on Waiheke. Fortunately for us, the skies started to clear after the morning rain, and so in the end we had a pleasant albeit soggy visit to the island.
After our quick visit to Auckland, we took a short flight to Wellington, on the Southern end of the North Island. Wellington is the country’s capital — in fact, at 41 degrees southern latitude, Wellington is the southernmost national capital in the world. I have been to Wellington before, and I know from experience the weather there can be changeable and even raw. However, the sun shone brightly during our visit.