Made it to Auckland very early in the am.... 4:00am to be exact. Our friends and tour guides met us with smiling faces and a beautiful 12 passenger Mercedes Van. Since we could not get in to our hotel room at the BarryCourt yet, we took a tour...in the dark, on empty streets in Auckland. It was actually very fun, as we were all bleary eyed anyway. We stopped for a coffee at a NZ McDonalds. I got a "flat white", and Linda got a "long black". We are really getting the kiwi lingo down pat! As the dawn broke over the city, we traveled up to some of the highest points to get better views. Auckland is clean and vibrant and there are boats everywhere. Our hotel is in a convenient place to explore, and we will do some more tomorrow.
After resting for a bit we all ventured to the SKY Tower and a fabulous lunch hosted by Nancy and Pete. The Sky Tower is the most prominent land mark in Auckland.....and being such adrenaline junkies, the NZlanders like to jump off of it. Well guess who thought that may be a good idea? Steve. No surprises there. After lunch, he paid the princely sum (yes, they charge people who are crazy to do crazy things here) and suited up. Then after being safety check a lot and hooked to a cable, he went and stood on a ledge 630ft high, and jumped! There is a restaurant high in the Sky Tower, and the jumpers are dangled for a few seconds in front of the diners, so they can enjoy real, honest to goodness FEAR, while sipping their wine and munching on goodies.