We are fortunate that we have the use of Simone’s car during our stay, so after our dog walking, we made a picnic lunch and drove towards the city centre about 30 kilometres away.  We could clearly see the SkyTower which we will visit properly once the Christmas holidays are over.  Auckland city fronts onto an ocean inlet and from the city centre there is a coastal road running eastwards, which over the next ten or fifteen kilometres takes in a series of bays finishing with a rocky headland. 

We then drove along the coast, stopping to look at some of the bays along the way.  These were proving to be a popular way of spending Christmas day as there were lots of New Zealanders in the sea, sheltering from the sun under the shade of the beautiful Pohutukawa trees with their red flowers, or simply relaxing in the sun.

The sea in this area isn’t an open body of water as there are lots of small islands out to sea to give shelter to these shallow waters.

We had a lovely day in the sunshine, watching people playing volleyball, swimming, kayaking, which really is a world away from the cold and snow of the UK.  As you can see from the photos, I even had a Christmas Day swim!

We returned late in the afternoon to enjoy our Christmas dinner of New Zealand lamb!  Yummy!  Happy Christmas everyone.