Auckland: CBD and Mt Eden
Before dropping off the hire car, I decided to have a look around the city. So I left the freeway at Mt Wellington, drove to St Heliers, and then along the foreshore via Tamaki Drive into the city.
After some confusions with divided and one-way roads, I eventually managed to fill the car with petrol and return it to the car hire company. They dropped me off at Auckland Central Backpackers and after a wait in the queue I managed to check-in.
I walked down Queen St to the port, looked around there, and then walked back up. There weren't a lot of interesting bookshops - a Borders as well as the usual Dymocks and Whitcoulls - but I eventually found Unity Books (shut) and a nice secondhand shop Jason Books. There I bought The Life of Pi as a novel for the flight home, following a recommendation from the staff.
I hadn't really had lunch and it was now 5pm, so I was ravenous. Most of the cafes were shut, or not yet open for dinner, so I ended up having a won ton noodle soup in a Hong Kong noodle bar, quite decent for $7. (I think the CBD might not be the best place to look for dinner in Auckland.)
After photographing the Sky Tower from below as an alternative, I kept the camera out and did some street photography.
Wandering up to Albert Park, I found the Chinese Festival of Lanterns in full swing. I also stumbled over the University Book Shop and the Auckland Art Gallery; they were shut, but with the next day in mind I noted down the opening times.