I managed to break my razor by dropping it in the shower this morning, so first job of the day was to replace that. Then I went to the post office and mailed my IRD number application. The whole process seems incredibly complicated. I don’t know why they can’t just issue you an IRD number with the working visa, or when you reach customs. And you can’t open a bank account without an IRD either.
I didn’t realise it was raining when I got dressed this morning, so I thought it best to change out of my shorts and vest into something more suitable. Then I caught the bus over to Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World, which is in fact, under the road. They have a big exhibit about the Antarctic exploration and a model of Scott’s hut, and a bit of information on five journeys to the south pole, including Scott and Amundsen’s battle to get there first.
They also have four giant stingrays in an open-top pool, the biggest named Pheobe, and they get fed as part of the daily shows. They seem to enjoy the attention too. Then you can get onto a Snow Cat ride where you go into the penguins Antarctic enclosure. They’ve simulated Antarctic conditions, including night and day and seasonal cycles, and the temperature is obviously freezing, hence why people have to go round in the Snow Cat. The penguins also loved the attention, and were right up near you, watching you as much as you were watching them. After that there was a moving walkway around the sharks, stingrays, turtles and other fish. I spent ages trying to get decent photos of the two turtles. Then they have some other tanks, with seahorses, a blowfish, sea dragons, piranhas, eels, stone fish (the most venomous creature known to man), and a selection of coral reef life.
I don’t think the place totally justified the price. The penguins were ace, but the ride only lasts eight minutes. I guess you could a few times to get your money’s worth! But then, it converts to just over 10 pounds, so maybe not that bad. However, the aquarium in Sydney was a similar price, and there was much more to see there. Also, I purposefully went on a weekday to avoid families. I forgot about school trips.
When I got out, the weather had improved so I walked around to Mission Bay, one of the beaches of Auckland. Not a very busy beach today. I had lunch and then sat by the beach reading for a while. Then I got an ice cream and caught the bus back to town.
Once back into town I jumped on another bus to Ponsonby, the fashionable district. If that’s what you say, Lonely Planet. In my opinion, it was unimpressive. I walked along Ponsonby Road, then K Road, and then joined Queen Street to get back to Downtown, stopping at Borders bookshop on the way.
Later, I was trying to compare NZ tour companies and packages, as the car idea has gone out the window in the vain attempt of saving some money. I went to a different internet place, which was cheaper, but all the Windows menus and messages were in Chinese, and you couldn’t download anything. After that I went up to the library in the hostel, still trying to organise it, and got chatting to a guy called Joe and another girl. Around 1am, I decided it was about time for bed.