Grand Millennium Auckland

Earlier this year I stayed at the Grand Millennium Auckland for a weekend.

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The hotel was built in 1989 as the Pan Pacific. It has changed its name many times over the years. I stayed here previously when it was the Rendezvous.

I booked a club room, which gives you exclusive access to the club lounge located on the 12th floor. The club rooms have the same the same features and decor as the standard rooms – the only difference is that the club rooms are located on a higher floor (my room was on the 11th floor).

The club lounge serves pre-dinner evening drinks and canapés between 5pm and 7pm. There is nothing spectacular spectacular about the food – there are a couple of hot and cold options, and the traditional cheese and cracker platter with dried fruits, sun-dried tomatoes and olives. The service is friendly and attentive.

Each night I had several non-alcoholic drinks (Pepsi, 7Up, orange juice, hot chocolate) and several plates of canapés and mini desserts. So there was no need to actually buy dinner.

They also serve breakfast in the Club Room – continental and A la Carte (preordering a breakfast dish the night before). Alternatively you can have the buffet breakfast in the Brassiere restaurant, which I did each morning.

Grand Millennium Auckland is located 71 Mayoral Drive (Cnr Mayoral Dr and Vincent St).

Mirror Lake, Yosemite National Park

Mirror Lake is a small lake located on the Tenaya Creek in the Yosemite National Park.

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Mirror Lake is in the Tenaya Canyon between North Dome and Half Dome. It is not actually a lake but a seasonal pool of water. It will have its highest level of water in the spring and summer months when snowmelt flows from the Tenaya Creek.

The Mirror Lake Trail is a 3.2 kilometre (2 mile) roundtrip to the lake and back. To complete a full loop around the lake is 8 kilometres (5 miles).

It provides view of the base of the Half Dome, which is reflected in the pool of water.

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Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park.

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The waterfall consists of three sections – Upper Yosemite Fall (440 metres | 1,430 feet), the middle cascades (206 metres | 675 feet), and Lower Yosemite Fall (98 metres |320 feet).

The total height of the falls from the top of the upper fall the base of the lower fall is 740 metres (2,425 feet).

The best time to see the falls is during spring when snow / ice melts. By August the falls may completely stop or come to a trickle.

To see the base of the falls there is a 1.6 kilometre (1-mile) loop track from Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead.

Yosemite National Park is located in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel-by-the-Sea is a small Californian beach village on the Monterey Peninsula.

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Carmel-by-the-Sea is located on the Pacific coast, about 530 kilometres (330 miles) north of Los Angeles and 190 kilometres (120 miles) south of San Francisco.

It is an easy village to explore by foot. Carmel’s streets are lined with designer shops, art galleries and gourmet eateries.

Carmel Beach is located at the end of Ocean Avenue for those wishing to dip their toes in the Pacific Ocean.

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