As it was a rainy start this morning, we decided to visit the Auckland Museum to stay dry.  Overlooking the Waitemata harbour and occupying one of New Zealand’s finest heritage buildings, the Auckland War Memorial Museum is the cultural and spiritual touchstone for New Zealanders.  It sits on a grassed plinth (the remains of a dormant volcano) in the Auckland Domain, a large public park close to the city.  The Museum is the first stop for anyone wishing to gain an insight into New Zealand and it’s people. Collections include priceless Maori treasures, amazing natural history, military history, daily Maori cultural performances, and an ever-changing feast of local and international exhibitions. 

Within the military history section is a full size Spitfire plane, as well as an unexploded V1 Doodlebug bomb, and a full size Mitsubishi Zero Japanese fighter bomber….all from WW2.  As this is also the War Memorial Museum, there are inscribed onto the Memorial Hall walls the names of many New Zealanders who fell during various conflicts.  The list is alarmingly long. 

When we emerged from the Museum, the sun had come out, so we drove the short distance to the Dove Myers Robinson Park, within which is the Nancy Steen Rose Garden.  We enjoyed the many coloured and perfumed roses in the park which leads down to the water’s edge at Judges Bay. 

There are many parks and gardens within the Auckland city area, making it a very green and pleasant city.  Of course, our stay has been made much easier because we have been able to borrow the Mazda estate car of the family we are housesitting for.

We then went for a leisurely coffee and cake to read the newspapers and watch the world go by.