• Top Left: The Sky Tower (1085' high) decorated for the America's Cup. The tower dominates the Auckland skyline.
  • Top Middle: A view of just a few of the thousands (?) of sailboats in the Waitemata Harbor from a top the Sky Tower.
  • Top Middle: A VERY windy day in Auckland. We could barely stand up straight. So what do we do? We take a Ferry cruise around the Harbor! It was so windy, they didn't sail any races that day. That was an experience - holding on for dear life on the top deck. Unfortunately, because of the inclimate weather we didn't get off the boat to explore the small islands that dot the Auckand area.
  • Top Right: The AmericaOne compound. They almost made it to the America's Cup, only to be beaten by Italy. From the looks of it, NZ should have no problem defending the Cup against Italy.
  • Bottom Right: The Ferry Building.
  • Middle: A calm day in the harbor. This was our last view of Auckland - a couple hours after this ride, we were on a plane bound for home.

We spent the second week of our vacation in Auckland, NZ's largest city, with a population approaching 1 million. NZ has a total population of about 3.5 million. It is known as the "City of Sails", even before NZ won the America's Cup.

While we were there the America's Cup was getting started with the Challenger's series - several boats sailing for the chance to meet NZ in the America's Cup. N/Z/Auckland was in full swing for construction of the America's Cup Village and a number of restaurants, stores, hotels and upscale condos on the waterfront. The Kiwi's told us that this area was in dire need of renewal before the NZ'ers won the cup in '95. I think it's been a boost and has made a big impact for Auckland/NZ - especially for tourism. When it was in SD in '95, it was barely a blip on the screen.

It's a beautiful city, full of friendly Kiwis and HILLS. Everything seemed to be on the top of a hill. Of course, we walked (climbed) almost everywhere.