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
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.
|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
||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
||This is the general area of my hotel...
|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.
|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
||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.
|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.