The trip to the Big Smoke - Part 1

Pier 14 at the Viaduct Basin Auckland City Waterfront

The Cruise Ship Millenium at Princess Wharf Auckland Harbour

Date Launched: 06/17/2000
Registry: Liberia
Officers: Greek
Crew: International
Gross Tons: 91000.0
Length (ft.): 965
Beam (ft.): 105
Passengers: 3450

A couple of hours drive down to Auckland City yesterday saw us heading along the waterfront towards the Viaduct Basin. On the way past there literally dominating the waterline was the huge luxury cruise liner Millenium

My nephew Samuel was having a 21st Birthday on the Ocean Eagle a big catameran (probably spelt wrong mutter) that used to be an officials boat during one of the America's Cup challenges.

The waterfront has been changed drastically since the bad old days of sly grog and old sailing ships coming into port with goods from mother England, and a load of hopeful passengers wanting to start a new life in a country they knew nothing about. Auckland at one time used to be New Zealand's capital city later replaced by Wellington. Hobson came to Auckland in 1840 along with Dr John Grant Johnson and other movers and shakers that would lay the foundations for this thriving city. Auckland has the biggest population density at just over 1 million and rising. Not as big as some other cities around the world but enough to say I'm here. Despite all this talk of global recession and things falling apart around our ears there were no signs of it anywhere I could see. People were out enjoying themselves and to heck with the negative reports of the media. I'm an editor but sometimes writing the negative stuff just won't cut it.
And this trip definitely was worth the drive...except maybe for the price of parking. Seems every piece of empty space has a Wilson Parking Ticket box on it. $5 per hour thanks or pay $10 for twelve hours. I paid the $10. What a ripoff ..mutter.
More coming....


  1. Oh, how exciting I have never seen such a large ship !! I will be waiting for part 2
    it looks so warm there, we are so cold today 32 degrees, I don't what that is where are.
    Thanks ,for sharing.

    Lots of Hugs~~~~Leslie

  2. yep I use to pay $2 parking for the whole day in Auckland city about 15 years ago, amazing how much it's changed.

  3. Yeah now it's a big fat ripoff. They put parking boxes on empty lots would you believe robbers!

  4. Hi Leslie,

    I'm just about to visit your blog. It was huge! I think that's about 15 degrees in celsius. Not warm for sure. Big hug to you too!!!

  5. Party on a catamaran? Fun! Looks like you had a nice road trip. Did the Terrorist follow you bellering all they way there, mad that you left the farm without her? :-)

    I can't imagine seeing a ship that big that close. Very neat.


  6. "...since the bad old days of sly grog..."

    Seeing as you've strayed into my turf ... ;-)

    Any smugglers trying to get past customs would have had to have been idiots using the main wharves where the customs agents swarmed like flies. They used to do their importing through the "back door", so to speak. Riverhead was a popular landing place for a bit of the ol' duty-free.

    As for parking -- pity you couldn't have found a spot in Grey Lynn, for example, and then caught the bus into town. Might have saved you some coppers.

  7. That looks like such fun!
    Can't wait to read part 2 :)

    Yep, we're "blessed" with Wilsons Parking hoo-ha here, too, with the same price range.

  8. Ice yeah I could just see them sly groggers taking the risk and getting nabbed. Riverhead the old sneaky port of call trick. Actually I should link in some of your stuff so people can take aread. You've got some really cool Auckland History there on Timespanner. If I didn't ahve Mum with me yes I would have parked somewhere and caught the bus or the train in. Cheaper for sure. But Mum couldn't walk too far and she didn't like the though of leaving her car somewhere too far away. Wilson Parking sucks

    Jayne yeah the old Wilson Parking seems to have a monopoly on the Parking scene. I've seen them in Sydney as well. Hmmm I ahve a cartoon coming ....

  9. Hi Jennifer. No the Terrorist missed out on her cruise little toad. That was one big ship but not as big as the Titanic from what I've been reading. Still it was massive. More coming.


  10. Auckland City Council carpark areas & buildings are listed and shown here. The closest to the Viaduct on Sunday is the Downtown one, with an all-day tariff of $10.

    True, there are vastly more Wilsons parks. Which one did you choose with such a high tariff, Liz?

  11. Stupid google wiped my comment.

    Ice I missed the Downtown Carpark and with the traffic the next one was this empty lot next to foodtown. ACC are way cheaper just fewer parking places like you said. Wilson Parking know they ahve the upper hand and charge whtever the hell they want. That $10 for 12 hours was the weekend rate. The weekday rate was even worse. Thanks for the links.