After nearly a month on our quiet island, we were ready to get gobsmacked by the city—which, incredibly, is just a 30-minute ferry ride away. Auckland winds around the water, with neighborhoods stretching up streets, hills, and dormant volcanoes. No matter where you go, you see the Sky Tower—the city’s new and rather controversial compass.
It’s stacked with restaurants, observatories, and a casino that goes garish at night. We found its omnipresence both unnerving and reassuring. (It was framed perfectly in the window above the toilet in our B&B, for example.) And it found its way into many of our shots. Next time we visit the city, we’ll have to get inside and get a closer look.