Another rugby weekend in Auckland. This time for the Rugby World Cup Quarter Finals. There were 2 games in Auckland and 2 games in Wellington. Due to DH being an All Blacks supporter we went to the Sunday evening game at Eden Park on Super Southern Sunday (both games involved Southern Hemisphere teams).
Friday night started with a stroll up to Parnell for dinner at Non Solo Pizza (NSP). If your looking for good service and good food this is where to go. We ordered a little bit of everything, except for the raw fish (they hadn't made any that night). We were glad to walk (or roll) down the hill home.
Saturday started with a trip on the link bus to the Auckland Museum. We stopped in for breakfast at Domain Ayr, and ended up having breakfast sitting next to Daniel Carter. A short stroll later we found ourselves at the impressive Auckland Museum. The Museum is split into 3 levels, the first based on Pacific and Maori NZ, the second Natural History and the third covering war. We spent 2 hours and really only got through 1.5 of it. We then walked back into town, stopping at Japan Deli for lunch and then shopping in Queen Street. That night we enjoyed the north hemisphere teams Quarter Finals on the big screen in the Queen Street Fan Zone (Wales and France made it through to the next round).
Sunday started with breakfast at Melba's on high street. We then made our way over to the Town Hall where they have the Union photograph exhibition. After a quick late lunch at Siagonz, we headed off down to the harbour to have a quick walk around (and run into a couple of French rugby players) before taking the fan trail to Eden Park.
It's rare for there to be a night of test rugby and both DH and I to be happy, because both our teams won, but the Wallabies just prevailed against the reigning champions and the All Blacks sent Argentina home.
You might remember a blog post of mine from way back when that covered Lord Howe Island as one of my wish list destinations, we'll this October long weekend it became a reality.
After a 2 hour flight from Sydney we were greeted at the airport by Mark and Libby from Capella Lodge.
After a light breakfast, we decided to make the most of a beautiful day (the weather can turn very quickly on Lord Howe Island as we later found out) and headed off into town, to feed the fish at Ned's Beach. Town is about a 4K walk, but Libby and Mark are more than happy to give you a lift if you don't feel like walking or the weather isn't the best.
At Ned's we spent a few hours feeding the fish, enjoying the mild water (20C), with only 3 other people on the beach at the same time.
After a light lunch at Humpty Mick's we headed back along the coast line.
On return to the Capella we checked into our room, and what a view from our Lagoon Loft.
Each night there are cocktails and canapes served in the dinning room, followed by a scrumptious three course dinner. Saturday nights however also allow you to listen to a presentation on the local history and genealogy of the Island.
Sunday's weather wasn't so crash hot. It was wet and it was windy. We did however borrow one of Capella's buggy's and head out for a quick walk, through the Valley of Shadow's and Clear Point.
Monday's weather was clear, but still windy, so after our last breakfast we headed off on a short walk to Little Island.
We finished the day with a short trip to Lovers Bay before heading back to Sydney.
Feed fish at Ned's beach
One of the many walks - from short trip to Little Island, to the mammoth Mount Gower
Nothing! That's a great thing about this Island. With a maximum of 750 people at one time allowed on the Island, you can always find a place to get away from it all and do...nothing!
So since I've been working in Auckland it would have been a shame to miss the RWC, especially the clash of the Pacific nations. And what a rugby week it turned out.
We spent the Friday night in the Sport bar in the Casino. DH the forever All Blacks supporter thought he had died and gone to heaven, drinking his favourite kiwi beer (Steinlarger) out of an All Blacks cup, while watching a rugby match (Wallabies vs. USA). It was a good night, with quite a few Americans and Canadians out in force.
The next day we spent down at the Viaduct at the French festival, and checking out the black and white All Blacks photos in the . That afternoon we headed down to the Fans Zone on Queens Wharf early to catch the England Vs. Romania game and then the All Blacks vs. France game. For all the fuss in the media about out of control All Blacks fans, it was a great environment, where everyone was just there to have a good time and watch some rugby.
Sunday we work up to rain. This didn't stop us from walking to the game (about 4k), where they had plenty of entertainment, including the Island drums, face painting and free rain coats! The atmosphere at the game was electric, 60,000 people, flags flying, running rugby.
We'll be back for the Quarter Finals, lets see if Auckland can put on that good a show again (without the rain).