One year of blogging

“As much as I love international travel I think it’s important (and cheaper) to get out there and explore one’s own backyard. So I’m starting this blog to encourage myself to get out there and do more things on my days off. So join me as I begin my journey to see what this great country has to offer…”

I wrote these words exactly one year ago today – January 16th 2014.

Call it a New Years Resolution or just a goal. Last year I decided that I wanted to do more with my days off work and get out of the house. So I created this travel blog to encourage and document my adventures around my home country of Aotearoa New Zealand.

My first was a day trip to Hobbiton – the location for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films. It was a great start and was definitely one of my favourite outings from last year.

At Hobbiton - January 17th 2014

At Hobbiton – January 17th 2014

Despite living in Auckland for 6 years I am embarrassed to admit I had never been to places like the Auckland Art Gallery, Bastion Point and the Botanical Gardens. This blog gave me a reason to go and cross them off my list.

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Bastion Point

I also had a reason to revisit places like Devonport, Takapuna, Birkenhead, Orewa, Auckland Zoo, MOTAT, Auckland War Memorial Museum and Wintergardens, and the SKY Tower.

When I had 2 or 3 days off work I tried to get out of Auckland. During the year I visited Coromandel township, Waitomo Caves, Hamilton and Wellington.

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave - Waitomo

Boat ride through Mangawhitikau Glowworm Cave – Waitomo

I could post when I liked, there was no pressure. Some nice people read my posts. I helped a couple of people along the way like the lady who wanted to know the gate closing hours for Michael Joseph Savage Memorial / Bastion Point.

I don’t know where this blog will go this year or where it will take me. My only plan is to do more than I did last year and enjoy myself.

Thanks for reading. Have a fantastic and prosperous 2015!

New Year Fireworks - SKY Tower

New Year Fireworks – SKY Tower

Auckland Zoo

Today June 21st is World Giraffe Day – an initiative set up by the Giraffe Conservation Foundation.  So today I headed along to the Auckland Zoo.

World Giraffe Day at Auckland Zoo

World Giraffe Day at Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is a 16 hectare (40 acre) zoo located in Western Springs. The Zoo first opened in 1922 and has been running strong ever since. The Zoo is open seven days from 9:30am to 5pm (1 May – 31 August). From the months of September to the end of April the Zoo is open until 5:30pm. Last admission is at 4:15pm.

Adults are $25, children (4 – 14 years) $10, students/senior citizens $20. There are family pass options available as well. Prices are due to go up 1 July. See their website for more details.

Prior to arriving at the Zoo I walked through Western Springs Lakeside Park.

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Western Springs Lakeside Park

The Zoo is divided up into different themed sections, that include Pridelands, ASB Elephant Clearing, Hippo River, Te Wao Nui, Orangutan Trial, KidZone, The Tropics, Aussie Walkabout and Tiger Territory.

I started at Pridelands, since it was the Giraffe’s day and that is where they reside. Also in the Pridelands were Zebra, Springbok, Ostrich, Rhinoceros, and Lions.

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During World Giraffe Day at the Zoo visitors could see how they measured up against a 4 month old Giraffe.

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Lions, Auckland Zoo

Lions, Auckland Zoo

Throughout the day there were several scheduled animal encounters where keepers explained a little bit more about the zoo’s animals. I went to animal encounters for Giraffe, Elephant, Orangutan, Tasmanian devil and Tiger.

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Burma during Animal Encounter, Auckland Zoo

Burma during Animal Encounter, Auckland Zoo

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Tiger during Animal Encounter, Auckland Zoo

Tiger during Animal Encounter, Auckland Zoo

Auckland Zoo is located on the city centre fringe, and is a perfect day out for families and animal lovers young at heart.

 

Auckland Zoo

Motions Road, Westerns Springs

9:30am – 5:00pm (1 May – 31 August)

9:30am – 5:30pm (1 September – 30 April)