We've completed the 5-hour flight from Melbourne to Auckland, and as soon as we are out of the airport, it's obvious that New Zealand is quite different than it's huge neighbor 5 hours away. This city is fairly good size, with a population of approximately 1.5 million. Nevertheless, we're about to find out that outside of Auckland, the North and South Islands are quite rural. Our first taste of the bucolic nature of this island-country will happen today, as we head by ferry to Waiheke Island in the Hauraki Gulf to take in some rugged coastline vistas, and to hit a few well-known vineyards.
The sun's coming up in Melbourne, and I'm getting an early start. The goal for the day is to take in as much of the city as I can, by foot or tram. There is a lot of ground to cover, so I have my running shoes tied tight, some Australian dollars in my wallet, and my phone with Google Maps in its holster. I'm ready to roll.