We started our tour at Half Moon Bay (you have to wonder, how many places in the world are named “Half Moon Bay?”) where we took a local walk-on commuter ferry. The journey takes about 40 minutes to reach Auckland Harbour across Waitemata Bay.
I was immediately struck by the colour of the water. It is a beautiful powdery turquoise blue/green. Closer to the colour you get in a glacier melt-water lake, rather than an ocean. Any one know why? My guess would be limestone but…
On our mini ocean voyage into town, we were amazed how far out of the way the ferry’s route was. It seemed to hug the wrong shore! I enjoyed looking at the grassy islands and marvelled at the number of vessels dotting the harbour. Auckland is often called the City of Sails and on a day like today, it is easy to see why.
Auckland Harbour itself is a series of docks and jetties in rectangular arrangement, all to make extra room for the all important sailing ships. Many, many restaurants have taken advantage of this abundance of ocean views and it is great fun to wonder along, reading menus as you go, trying to decide where best to plant yourself for lunch. (To learn where we did end up, go to http://www.difoodie.wordpress.com )
I loved the Fish Market and enjoyed seeing some old friends with new names, some old names given to different fish, and some brand-new-to-us varieties.
On the harbour front there was a wonderful addition; a book mobile/library made from two cargo containers. I suppose in the good weather, the containers are opened, the chairs spread about and, voila! You are welcome to sit, read, or even snooze in the sunshine. How civilized!
Our little walking tour was over far too quickly, but as we took the ferry back to Half Moon Bay, a little mystery was solved. The tide had gone out and we now could see why the ferry seemed to hug the wrong shore. Most of the Waitemata Bay was now above the ocean! I had no idea so much of the bay was that shallow!