Since it is summer and high season in New Zealand, everything is crowded and busy. Unfortunately this meant all of the optional activities in Auckland were already full. Some people had signed up to jump off the Sky Tower or walk around the edge outside the viewing platform, but they were not able to do those insane things. I had signed up to learn to sail on an America’s Cup boat, but it was cancelled. Honestly, I wasn’t all that disappointed.
Our tour already included a visit to the Sky Tower, so I went with LK and HG to get some more vertical views of Auckland. If you’ve been to the Space Needle in Seattle, you know the deal for the Sky Tower. You take an elevator from the ground floor to an observation lounge. It’s a very similar setup except it’s 400 feet taller, and they let people jump off the thing because: New Zealand. There’s even a countdown clock inside the observation lounge for when the next bungee jumper will go. I think they take off every four minutes or so, but we did not see anyone do it. Maybe they all chickened out.
The Sky Tower is just over 1,000 feet tall (328 m), making it the tallest man-made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s also smack in the middle of the Auckland Central Business District and a block from our hotel. Incidentally, also next to our hotel was a giant bungee chair you could ride to the top before they dropped you and two of your closest friends because: New Zealand. We wandered around the observation lounge and enjoyed the great views of Auckland.
Of course, it was also Boxing Day, which as far as I can tell is the Commonwealth equivalent of the US’s Black Friday. There were tons of sales everywhere, so LK and I went shopping. Neither of us bought anything, but it was fun to look in spite of the massive crowds. They have a lot of the same stores we have and a few we don’t.
Title quote: Joseph Campbell