We were a little slow getting rolling this morning which is what the doctor ordered after having so many busy long days. Not complaining just saying this has been a really full trip.
Agnes and I wandered down the street towards the water front with no particular direction in mind other than it was downhill. After a very nice ham sandwich and coffee for breakfast we continued on downhill. Agnes found a fabric store and bought a small wall hanging quilt kit. When we got down to the docks Agnes said “Hey let’s take a harbor tour.” There was a tour office right there and a ferry leaving in 10 minutes with a tour on Devonport. So we were off.
The ferry ride only took 15 minutes but gave us a great harbor view. The bus portion of the tour did not leave for 45 minutes so we walked across the street and had fresh out of the oven scones and tea in the Esplande Hotel which was built in 1903. The tour took all around Devonport which was originally called Flagstaff because Mount Victoria was where the harbor watch was and would set signal flags for the Auckland harbor master. However local residents liked Devonport better and the name just stuck. It was also the place where the British Admiralty Navy yards were. However now it is a very upscale area of Auckland. Residents walk or cycle down to the ferry and are downtown in minutes.
The tour took us around and we saw the different forts which were built to protect the harbor both from Russian invasion and then later from Japanese invasion. The bus also drove us up to Mount Victoria which we were told are the best views of Auckland. I believe it as you could see for miles. You could also see all of the other islands which are to the north of the main North Island. The sky was so blue and it was a perfect offset to the blue of the ocean. After the tour the driver asked if anyone was going for lunch and if so just stay on the bus and he would drop us at his favorite café. He was on his way home and didn’t mind making an extra stop. Agnes and I stayed on and went up to the Platter Restaurant. As recommended by the tour driver the seafood chowder was great.
We walked along the sea wall back to the ferry after lunch. It was so pleasant with a nice ocean breeze. On the dock was a bike store which had a huge selection of jerseys (even more than in Hokatiki). There was three different versions of the black and white silver fern as well as a lot of others as well. I choose the New Zealand flag jersey. It is a real beauty.
Well got to run to say our final farewells to Tom and Amy, and to wish them a good trip home.