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Touring Te Ika a Maui ` Day One ` Sydney to Auckland

A tour around New Zealand’s North Island. Our journey starts in Sydney on a clear day. Re submission with pictures.

Strangest of all - as if in a dream - I found myself in Krispy Kreme donuts at Sydney Airport. American donuts served with Italian espresso by Middle Eastern women to a loud Vietnamese man yelling into a Japanese cell phone with no Anglo Saxons except me in the room. Hello Sydney! Here is a true mish - mash of global people and cuisine all under a clear blue Australian sky at an airport buzzing with the sounds of jets and tongues like nowhere on Earth.

Sydney Airport Morning

So begins our journey to New Zealand’s North Island or, “Te Ika a Maui.” This journal complements my last journey to New Zealand’s South Island in March 2011. You can follow that journey with this one by using the hyperlink at the bottom of the page. Come with me and discover one of the world’s great travel destinations as we tour around New Zealand’s North Island starting in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city.

As I looked at the garish display of donuts at Sydney Airport’s Krispy Kreme the bright sun was jolting me awake. Nothing grabbed my fancy so I headed for McDonalds for my first cappuccino. This part of the airport was only scrubby bush a few years ago. Now it had been paved and guttered filled with American food outlets and parking lots. Here I began my journey in a typical airport, a between - world of laminex, Perspex and macadam, with the scent of kerosene filling my nostrils. I couldn’t wait to move on to the fresh air of New Zealand as I read the paper and finished my espresso.

Our trusty steed the China Airlines Airbus 330 - 300

We boarded our China Airlines flight at noon after a hairy mini bus ride through the spaghetti junctions of the airport. Our plane soared across the broad Tasman Sea shining in the sun and dotted with fluffy clouds that spread like a New Zealand wool carpet for miles on the blue sea below. Cat - like Chinese stewardesses served chicken in plastic as I ruminated over my rich Shiraz in a fake wine glass.

What a trip already; beginning with a surreal world of loud colour and bright blue skies. Now all we had ahead of us was a journey through amazing forests, beautiful scenery and friendly people. This felt fantastic.

Auckland shrouded in cloud

Then as we approached Auckland the bliss turned to anxiety as our China Airlines Airbus 330 - 300 soared into thick cloud landing with a thud that caused some screams in the cabin. Drizzle now greeted us as the full aircraft lumbered to disembarkation. Like a modern play with a tense overture we had arrived in Te Ika a Maui and although a touch frazzled my heart jumped with anticipation at what lay before us - a tour of one of the world’s great destinations - New Zealand’s North Island.

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