Today was a true example of how things happen on-the-fly, my first option was to indulge in the FREE Auckland Tour (kiwiXperience), which was squashed as they didn't have any free seats available (Guess, there must have been other equally enamoured tourists with the word "FREE") unfortunately my thrifty Indian god-fathers would have been mighty pissed off for this inadverdant miss.
Then i went across to the iSite in Auckland (which is in the Transit base for Sky Tower building), and labored long between two really enticing options :-
Option A) "Coast to Coast Walkway" : You get detailed brochures and Maps about this 4 Hr north-south walk within Auckland City from the Viaduct Harbor till Onehunga Bay cruising across Albert Park, Auck University, Mt. Eden and couple of other sights most of which i had seen earlier.
Option B) "Waitakere Ranges" : 1 Hr Travel from Britomart, it is home to an amazing beach, couple of last-remaining Kauri Trees, Regional Park, Minature Trams which criss-cross Glow-worm Caves.
Unfortunate for my quirky Adventure Antennae overtook my senses and i hopped onto Okahu Bay (D13 Bus Stop) to Ferg's Kayaks for a one hour journey across the windy beach surf on my Kayak.
A few points to note, if you are an amateur in Kayaking :-
1) Get your shorts (else u might have to rent a pair for 5 $)
2) Open Kayaks are easier to operate for the beach ends, while Closed ones are a must for longer journeys.
3) Ask for a round of guidance, which they would readily offer to you in loads.
So for $25 myself and my mate had a wallop of fun rollicked by the beach waves (which unfortunate for us was a bit too windy that day). Pity we could not take a video.
Couple of more pics of the beautiful shore (remember to get down at Okahu rather than mission bay in the bus)
After being washed across the shores almost twice, we finally relented and returned back to the shores. Just when you reach back, and see the entire beach along with the ferries, and Auckland City view... it is simply mind-blowing.
Later on, we returned back to the city and had a brief shower and sleep scooted across the the ICONIC monument in Auck city - SKY Tower, lingering a mamooth 328 mt (Twice the lenght of my Bungy jump), this place really gave me the jitters (esp after seeing the how-it-was-all-made video), you really cannot imagine how they have constructed this lean tower to become the tallest Building in the southern Hemispher. The view from the Sky tower is simply fabulous, you can see around 80 Kms all around you along with a view of nearby islands (Rangitoto, Waihike) and also glare down to find the floor made of GLASS (talk about vertigo). Also don't miss out the "eye of the sky-tower" camera which gives you a zoom in view (much akin to Google-earth)
For the Adventure-relic check out the sky-dive (which is a mere fall down -not bungy) from the top tower, at least try to get to the observation desk.. as this is one sight you might not want to miss :)
Later on, i went across to the most populated area in the entire New-Zealand... yes, you guessed it right; the Gambling den in Auckland (which is also in the First floor of the Sky Towers; it was almost the size of a Baseball ground littered with coin-eating machines and rows and rows of Black-jack and roulette machines. And as i was warned earlier, almost 90% of the gamblers were chinese with squinted eyes, they were simply rolling off their money as if it were mere water (According to stats the gambling industry is the most highest revenue earner for NZ tourism) and given the size of that place i am sure it must be too.
Around 6 pm as the sky filled with dark skies, we basked under the silver lantern of the SKY-tower(the entire tower glows in different colors mostly purple or silver).
Another wonderful day has passed by in this ever-wonderous place...