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Auckland Island: Restaurant Advice and Day Trip to Rangitoto or Waiheke?

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On the day we arrive in Auckland after a long flight from Boston, we thought we'd take a ferry over to either Rangitoto (tour) or to Waiheke for the afternoon. We are a couple in our mid-60s and know we will be exhausted and trying to re-set our body clocks to NZ time, so looking for an easy afternoon. We are interested in the Rangitoto tour because the views back across the harbour to Auckland are supposed to be good and learning about the volcanic activity should be interested. Also it isn't too strenuous for our first afternoon. However. I have read good things about Waiheke here on the forum but wondered if we could do it justice in an afternoon. Your thoughts would be appreciated.

The next day in Auckland we plan to do the Explorer Hop On Hop Off bus to see the Auckland Museum, Sky Tower and Kelly Tarleton's. We also want to walk around Viaduct Harbour. Any other don't miss sights?

For restaurants we would like a couple of ideas for good restaurants around the harbour/wharf/Quay St areas and/or near City Life on Queen Street. I know food and eating out is very expensive in NZ so I wouldn't anticipate really fancy/expensive meals our first two nights - maybe something casual/reasonably priced. We love fresh seafood but open to all.

Our son is a brewer so we enjoy visiting brewpubs and think there is one near Britomart - Northern Steamship Company/Mac's Bar - any good?

Next day we rent a car and head up to Bay of Islands.

Thanks in advance for your ideas and help.

Betty

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