Monday, 26 January 2015

Summer in the city, Auckland city, that is

I love summer in the city.  When the city empties out and everyone heads to the beach I prefer to be around town.  I have always felt this way. When our children were young we would take them on a beach holiday in mid December, returning in time for Christmas.  This worked perfectly - the holiday resorts were uncluttered and peaceful and it was delicious to lie soaking up the sun in the knowledge that we had avoided the pre Christmas mayhem in the city.  Once the city emptied out after Christmas it felt like we had it to ourselves, well, almost! 

View of Auckland city from the Waitemata Harbour
From Christmas to late January traffic on the roads is light, parking is easy to find and the whole of Auckland seems to be in a relaxed beach shorts and sandals kind of mood.

Auckland is a city of  loveliness, blessed as it is with a magnificent harbour, scattered with jewel-like  islands,  stunning beaches, some less than 10 minutes drive from the CBD, a diverse population, cool and shady bush walks within half an hour's drive, a wide selection of wineries to choose from and a vibrant cafĂ© culture, so what's not to like?  There are a myriad of activities for stay at homes, like myself, or visitors, including any number of water based activities. This summer has been perfect with hot clear sunny days for the last five weeks, lifting everyone's spirits.

Betty Hoops, busker,
Auckland's 175 year celebration
Holiday in downtown

Visitors pass a photo of Auckland Harbour, 1906

This weekend Auckland celebrated 175 years since it became a city and all stops were pulled out to celebrate.  The downtown area was abuzz with activities as varied as free tours of the ports of Auckland, a Seafood Festival, a fireworks display over the harbour, the annual yachting regatta with over 1000 boats taking part, exhibitions of the history of Auckland, a buskers festival, a craft market, Laneway music festival, even the creation of a beachside sunning area transforming the Queen Elizabeth square downtown.  And this weekend was really only the start of many festivals to come over the next few weeks. As I said, what's not to like about Auckland in the summer? 
...and with glorious days come glorious sunsets (taken from my home)