This one has more pictures than words, so please forgive me.
I find that after a series of devastating earthquakes, cyclones and tsunamis nothing stimulates the nervous system like a journey up a very tall structure, especially one that is relatively close to the area where all the geophysical activity has taken place.
So on Wednesday evening Jules and I went up the Sky Tower. Now I am not really a sadist so I did not force the poor child up the tower for malicious purposes. I had bought her tickets to a on-night-only show by Bobby McFerrin (a great family favourite) and he happened to be performing in the Sky Theatre, so I thought we might as well go up and see the sights. There was also a discount coupon on the ‘Net that day.
The Sky Tower is supposedly the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere. It is much more than a tower – it has hotels, many restaurants, a casino, a theatre and other attractions around it in a thing called Sky City. One buys a ticket to travel to the general observation deck (lower arrow) and then for a little extra one can travel to the top arrow deck which is at 220 metres above ground.
For the stout-hearted and feeble-minded there are tours around the OUTSIDE of the observation deck (one is attached to the building by a cable and a harness) and they sell really good life insurance at the kiosk near the window… For the pathologically infirm there is the ability to abseil from the top of the deck to the ground.
Jules had an interesting, green colour to her complexion when we arrived at the deck, but I reassured her that she could always take the 1029 steps to ground floor if she wanted. There is a revolving buffet and a posh restaurant at the top but one has to book and pay in advance (at the bottom) which we did not know and so we just walked and took photos.
To increase the tension a little they have placed panes of glass all around the outside edge of the floor (with little plaques encouraging people to stand on them – because the glass is 38mm thick). Jules did not think that was thick enough, but she did hop on for 2 seconds while I took a snap. (She assured me the moisture on her jeans was just natural precipitation).
The views are truly great and one understands just how much water there is. In fact the AV show says it all : Auckland is a series of fingers jutting into the ocean.
A quick geography lesson – NZ has three main islands, North, South and Stewart Island (little one right at the bottom) and about 220 minor islands. It represents an upside down boot which has a crack around the ankle. Wellington is at the ankle and Auckland is situated on the joint of the toe.
The views are really grand and one understands much more about the city from up here. Just look at one of the several yacht basins – what else can one do with this much water around? (Very high-glare pic – almost into the sun).
And this is rush-hour under the Auckland bridge. And it is not a regatta – it is just another Wednesday afternoon.
And inevitably one tries to find one’s own house from up here, but sadly we are invisible. Although one can see up to 80kms away we are tucked behind a ridge which obscures the view. But we can get pretty close to a view of our house.
This is a view top the East and if one pushes the limits of Jule’s little camera to the very edge of visibility one can vaguely see a red blob in which is in fact the Waiheke Island ferry about to leave the Half Moon Bay marina which, by clear deduction, means that our house wold be to the left where the second arrow is pointing.
And if you look even closer you’ll see a pile of shirts, fresh off the washing line, waiting for me to iron them. And that’s what I am going to do now. Bye!
(PS: Separate blog on the Bobby McF concert on my music blog – read only if you are interested).