Mo & Terry Smedley


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After a really stormy day on Monday, a day of glorious spring sunshine arrived on Tuesday.  I decided this was the day to go up the SkyTower, so after dumping stuff in my hotel room after work, I headed to the tower.   Terrific views, and plenty of opportunities for vertigo to kick in!

The total tower height is 328 metres (a hair over 1,000 feet).  Although in fairness, the last 100 or so metres is mostly a very thin spire.  If you're absolutely nuts, you can climb from the 220 metre observation level to the "Vertigo Climb Viewing Platform", at 270 metres (~825 feet) which is basically hanging in open air.  And the amazing thing is that you would have to pay to do this.  

You can also do a tethered base jump off the tower for a distance of about 192 metres (~600 feet).  The advertisement says that you "simply fall - fast and smooth - for 192 metres.  Fall at approximately 85kph (~50 mph) for  around 14 seconds before slowing the last few metres to land gently.  The ground rush is unbeatable."  I ran out of time tonight, so I wasn't able to enjoy that experience.  Maybe next time.

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The  SkyTower has two observation levels.  These first five pictures are from the lowest level, at 186 metres (~560 feet).  You can see Rangitoto Island in the far right of this picture. It was about 6:30PM.  I had the place to myself. A little odd. This sign may well be correct, but there's no way I'm walking on it.  If you look carefully, you'll see my white knuckles on the railing holding firm while I leaned over to take the picture. This is the general area of my hotel...
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And you can now see my hotel very clearly as the pure-white building next to and at a right angle to the Hyatt. Up to the higher observation deck, at 220 metres  (~670 feet).  This deck is a little nicer because the windows have no steel bars obstructing the view.  And you can see there are more people up here. Another view of Auckland harbor and Rangitoto off to the right. This is a long-lens shot of Mt. Eden, which I visited on my first day here.  In the original uncompressed photo, you can clearly make out those cows to the left of the crater!  Also note the backed-up freeway - Auckland traffic is notoriously bad.
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Here's a full picture of Rangitoto Island, whose summit I climbed on Sunday. Looky here what I found!  A commuter train - and it looks like it's just a couple of blocks from my hotel.  The tracks were easy to pick out from the SkyTower.  Once I spotted the tracks, I just followed them with my eye until I found a train. The early evening sun casts a sharp shadow of the SkyTower right towards my hotel. The elevators have a glass floor.  Is this really necessary? I'm glad I had the elevator all to myself going up and coming down.
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It's about 7PM.  This was taken about a block from the hotel. I went out about 9PM just to get this picture of the lighted SkyTower. Bird of Paradise line the street that leads from the hotel to town.