15 – 30 August 2012
Exploring the New look of Auckland
Although we have been quite busy ticking all the tasks off the “to do” list we have managed to slip in some time out for being tourists at home in Auckland.
For those of you that aren’t rugby followers you will be unaware that New Zealand hosted the Rugby World Cup last year. This great sporting event encouraged thousands of tourists to visit New Zealand shores and Aucklands waterfront area benefited with a huge revamp. Many old derelict buildings have been renovated and turned into swanky bars and restaurants on Quay Street which has seen this previously rather seedy area turned into a vibrant popular spot, both day and night.
An enormous tidy up in the disused tank farm adjacent to the Viaduct Harbour has seen this area rebranded as the Wynyard Quarter. Its outer fringes have been turned into a “hands on” park with many interactive activities to entertain young and old. The photo to the left shows a pile of containers, but look closely as here they are a modern art feature – the ends of the top left one has huge tv screens in it, whilst the bottom one houses a Cash Machine. Adjacent is the Container Tourist Info Office for the neighbourhood, all very well done and blending into the funky environment that has been created.
Close to the Viaduct a handful of new restaurants have sprouted up, all large establishments offering a selection of delectable treats to entice the thirsty and hungry passersby. But this is not an area of much foot traffic so it will be interesting to see how they are all surviving next time we are home, we hope they do well and it is encouraging to see this part of the downtown area all spruced up. Access across to the new Wynyard Quarter has been made easy by the addition of a pedestrian drawbridge across the entrance to Viaduct Harbour, making the journey by foot just a couple of minutes. It’s great to see this whole area now have a buzzy feel to it and to have it linked across to the rest of the Viaduct area. Well done to the town planners for this improvement to our great city of sails.