It’s all well and good to go gallivanting ’round the countryside, but in this post I want to take some time to show you something a little closer to home. The Auckland Domain is so close to the city center I really don’t even need a car to get there!
By this point, you should not be particularly surprised to hear that the Auckland Domain is on an extinct volcano.
Surrounded by this peaceful park is the Auckland Museum (properly called the Auckland War Memorial Museum). On the ground floor is a brilliant look into Maori culture, complete with live shows and fresh, rotating exhibits. Up on the second floor (or the first floor, for the Kiwis reading this) is a natural history museum, with exhibits covering native flora and fauna (present and past) as well as New Zealand’s geology. Be sure not to miss the volcano simulator; I’ll say no more about it lest I ruin the experience!
And then on the top floor is the eponymous war memorial, which is…moving. If you get an opportunity to experience it, I recommend you do so. I dislike it when museums seem to almost glory in war, and while there are a couple of exhibits here which hint in that direction, I would say that overall the war memorial rather glories in peace.
Moving back outside to the grounds of the Domain, there is a pleasant little gazebo. This structure is not only useful in itself, it is also quite helpful for orienting oneself when finding one’s way around for the first time! I took these photos on my third visit to the Auckland Domain and I still found myself popping out at an unexpected bit of road at one point after taking the wrong branch of a trail.
This statue is supposed to represent the Biblical story of Cain and Abel, but from this angle it looks like Cain is fleeing the tree which just killed his brother.
The Domain is more than just a simple park, though. There are walking trails which, if you didn’t know any better, would be equally at home up in the Northlands!
True to form, I jumped over this fence to inspect this creek more closely.
To look at these photos, you would never know that they were taken right outside the city center less than a kilometer from the motorway!
I think these flowers are called Orange Clivia. I am quite fond of orange, and I like these flowers as well!
There’s also a lake with a fountain. Well, lake might be a bit of an overreach, but at least a large pond.
If you pop out of the Domain, perhaps because you took the wrong fork in a path, you may very well wind up just a short walk up a hill from this ornate building.
Don’t be fooled by the funky exterior; this is, in fact, the Auckland High Court!
All the elements of this photograph cooperated to make some quite nice color contrasts.
So that’s the Auckland Domain (and a quick jaunt into some of the surrounding area). It’s a nice place to go for a peaceful afternoon stroll, or stop by to see the museum if you’re keen to learn more about New Zealand’s history, culture, and geology.
All this jaunting around the city is nice, but I think it’s time to go for a proper adventure. I’ve been East; that took me to the Hunua Ranges. I’ve been West to the Waitakere Ranges. And I’ve been up North to Whangarei. So I think it’s about time I headed South.