While housing is expensive, the 15,000 people who live there can walk to work in a few minutes, if they work on the island, or ferry to the mainland in less than 15 minutes, (or drive in about 90 minutes.) The kids are given free sailing lessons beginning about age 8 and have free access to boats while they are in school. Everybody sails.
A few of the $2,000,000 houses. Auckland, by the way, uses the nickname “City of Sails” because in a city of 1.5 million there are 1.3 million boats.
There are two significant volcanic cones on the island (it’s not an island any more but it almost is and it feels like one) that were home to Mãori settlements until World War II when the NZ government and the US expected someone to invade at any moment. If it wasn’t the Japanese, it would be the Soviets. The US built heavily armed encampments on both volcanoes, after expelling the Mãori. Apparently it was worth because the invasions never happened.
Most of the people in NZ live in Auckland, Tauranga (Saturday’s port,) Wellington (Monday’s port,) all on the North Island, the weather is typically sunny (except for us), and the terrain is spectacular. The general consensus on the boat is if you are going to run away from home, New Zealand is the place to go. And we haven’t seen the South Island yet and, the locals tell us it is the more dramatic.
From the top of one volcano looking toward another on a different island.
Saturday was Tauranga and Rotorua, with geysers, hot mud pools, and kiwi, both the bird and the fruit.