As many times as I've flown across the Pacific, I'm still surprised at how vast it is. The flight time from Las Vegas to LAX, layover, then on to Papeete, Tahiti (a long six hour layover), then a 'red eye' from Papeete to Auckland, all totaled almost 30 hours and I'm not one to sleep on a plane.
Kathy and I arrived at our hotel on Saturday morning Auckland time and fortunately, the hotel had a room and allowed us a very early check in. We spent most of the day resting and then a late afternoon walk down Queen's street, the commercial heart of Auckland. The Sky Tower is the visual center piece of the city, housing restaurants, hotels, broadcast and communications antennas, thrill rides, etc., Here's a shot I took last evening. It's a pretty stunning piece of architecture and the tallest man made object in New Zealand.
Today, we took the ferry over to Waiheke Island, about a 45 minute ride to a very beautiful, rural island with about 8,000 inhabitants and spectacular ocean views. By the end of the day after touring the island we were ready for more rest. Some view of the islands below along with a picture of Emma, our driver, who coincidentally has spent much time in the American Southwest hiking and working in Page, Arizona as well as the Grand Canyon. More to come when we get 'settled' on New Zealand's south island tomorrow.