auckland museum

i must say, NZ does really well when it comes to museums.  i know i raved for about 5 posts when i visited the te papa museum in wellington, so i'll keep this brief (one post, i promise), but i went to the auckland museum this weekend and again was blown away.

first of all, the museum is located in the middle of this beautiful park i have somehow managed to miss for the entire time i've been here.  it of course didn't hurt that it was a beautiful fall day, but even the walk up to the actual museum was awe inspiring.

the museum itself was incredibly interesting, and i managed to spend 4x the amount of time i planned to spend walking around and literally read every single panel i stopped at (something i admittedly never do).  i couldn't help myself though, i felt like a little kid in science/history class again, learning all kinds of facts to bring up the next time a cute guy strikes up a conversation at a bar - "did you know that there is no tadpole stage for frogs in NZ?"

the auckland museum.

fountain in front of the museum.

maori origins.

i want to spell out an aboriginal sound, but i can't handle the potential failure.

part two of my tour through the auckland museum featured another sort of history, including origins of the land and animals of NZ.  i found this to be one of the more interesting sections of the museum.  of course there were the standard fossils, dinosaur bones, and shells, but on top of all the usual suspects, there were live exhibits of some of the interesting sea creatures indigenous to the area.

while not quite "alive," there were also many different stuffed species of animals, including a giant moa (a la te papa museum in wellington) and a real indian elephant.  i'm throwing "species" in there so you don't think i was looking at an exhibit of beanie babies.  i wouldn't put it past me either.

ok, so it wasn't exactly live, but previously live still counts when it's a freakin elephant. (i gasped out loud when i realized it was real)

live NZ gecko.

weird looking fly/fish. no idea what they are really called.

coupla live starfish.

single starfish. (me....sigh)


standing on top of a live giant lobster.

the final part of the museum that i went through was the history of the people - the war memorials and exhibits.  without getting too cheezy, i find it really interesting to be visiting a history museum that documents some of the same events that are documented in museums that i have been to in my own country.  as i was walking through the exhibits and reading the stories - wwI, wwII, the holocaust, etc - i suddenly realized i didn't necessarily know the ending to these particular story boards as they weren't being told from the same perspective through which i experienced these instances in history (obviously not personally - i'm not that old.).

as i continued through the exhibit, i wondered whether there would be anything negative about the american soldiers or government that were involved in these wars.  luckily, the only negative thing that was written was that the american soldiers and the kiwis got into "street fights" from time to time as the soldiers were stealing all the kiwi women (typical), but it made me really interested to continue to look for examples of history from other nation's perspectives.  would be really interesting to see what a wwII museum in germany or japan would be like.

lifesize plane used in wwII. even if i managed to make it look tiny in my photo.

wwII bomber command memorial.

names of those lost in battle. including a "quigley." long lost NZ bloodline?

anzac day memorial.


the viaduct

so i've been writing this blog for almost a year now, but for some reason i still struggle with defining the line between what is actually boring about my life and what just seems mundane because it's something i do/see/eat on a regular basis.  either way, i'm sort of running on a lack of material lately (mostly due to  a lack of budget and a major saving campaign), so i think i'll blur the line a bit.  and i'll pretend that my posts fully dedicated to fast food menus haven't already blurred that line.

the viaduct is a part of town that i probably go to at least once a week, or at a minimum once every other week. simply put, the viaduct is the main harbor in auckland - hosting several different events throughout the year including america's cup defences, regattas, and festivals.  it is also home to several popular pubs and some of the more well-known upscale restaurants in auckland.  it's also really beautiful and only about a 40 minute walk from my flat, which makes it perfect for when i go on long walks around the city to try and avoid spending money on other activities. 

it's a pretty touristy part of town, but for obvious reasons as it's very scenic and was recently renovated to include interesting sculptures and benches (seriously. they look like they're made for giants.  which is kind of interesting, right?).

not much else to really say unless you'd like me to go into detail reviewing the restaurants/bars in the area, but definitely a part of town to add to the to do list if you're ever on this side of the globe.

auckland city from the viaduct.

restaurants and bars by the water.

kiiiiiind of like the one in new york...

boats at the harbor. no, i refuse to spell it with a "u."

a little piece of home.