NZ Land Logs 29, Year 2: North Island—Return to Whangarei
Date: Monday, March 19, 2007
Weather Today: Absolutely Gorgeous
Location: Whangarei, New Zealand

Blue skies with lots of puffy white clouds and sunshine dominated today. It was a great day for heading north to Whangarei. We had one more stop to make in Auckland before heading north, however. We went back into the city to go to Kelly Tarlton’s Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World. Our main reason for making this stop was to see the King and Gentoo penguins that are housed here. This combination aquarium and Antarctic showcase is housed in old storm-water and sewage holding tanks right on the waterfront. You enter and descend in order to enter the ‘experience.’ Once inside, You ride through a transparent tunnel on a conveyor belt in order to view the sharks, rays, green turtles, and large New Zealand fish swimming all around you. You can also get on a snowcat tractor to ride through the Antarctic Encounter. This is where you view the penguins living in a simulated Antartic world. The tourist information says this is great place for families with children, so we must quality. I can’t tell you how exciting it was to see the penguins in their simulated environment. After riding the snowcat at least four times through penguin land, we then headed to the aquarium side. Riding on that conveyor belt with stingrays, shark, and umpteen fish swimming all about was quite exiting.

>From here, we headed north to Whangarei. Mark and I had forgotten just how many curves and twists there are on this road, but despite the driving challenges we found ourselves back in Whangarei and aboard Windbird in a very short time period. It was great to be back home after three weeks of fantastic adventure. We will have a day’s rest here and then head on north to see the wonders of the north of the North Island.

070319 Web Pics–Auckland to Whangarei