Right, so to finish off with New Zealand I arrived in Auckland. I don't know whether it's because I know the end is nigh, or that this place really is just another - albeit slightly bigger than Wellington - city I'm not all that in love with it.
It's distinctly average on first impressions, and in some ways it's quite a wannabe city. For example it's got a Harbour bridge and Sky tower like Sydney. Both of which are slightly less impressive from the monuments they seem to be ripping off, despite the latter being the tallest structure in the Southern hemisphere, although I wonder if that's to do with the fact it has a very high spire, whilst the viewing deck is lower down on the structure. Besides which it's a difference of only a few meters compared between this and Sydney's attempt. I did however go up the tower, and the views are pretty good though saying that.
Despite being a bit unimpressed with Auckland on the surface of it, I don't hate the place. It's a bit of an inoffensive city, and in it does seem to have quite a lot going on in it. Think of it as a George Lamb sort of city, it's pretty harmless but you have trouble warming to it. Also it's worth mentioning it, like Rotorua, is sitting on a heap of volcanos. Thankfully these ones, unlike the ones in Iceland (seriously why is Iceland such a problem-maker these days? First they play a part in ruining our economy, and then mess up our airspace? what did we ever do to them), are behaving themselves and staying quiet. Still I hope that continues in the future as otherwise Auckland would simply be wiped off the map. You can see small caldera around the city in places, and as a result this means the place is quite hilly, and also means it is surrounded by water on all sides. They do say, "you're never far from water in Auckland," and this is precisely why.
Also, as per usual for me in cities, I wandered around the parks and gardens of Auckland. I also checked out the Museum of Auckland which is all well and good; containing the usual museumy sort of things. I also went to MOTAT (Museum of transport and technology), which was also fairly interesting, and the highlight of which was a ride in a tank.
I was really just kicking around until my flight to Japan on Monday in a lot of ways. Auckland is a good enough place, but it pales in comparison to the rest of New Zealand. Interestingly a few kiwis I've spoken to on the matter seem to agree with me.