It was a glorious Sunday in Auckland, which means it was not raining, and we were excited to be part of the great JAFA run organised by Barbara and Greg. We were promised lots of new places to visit and sights to see around Auckland and they did not disappoint. We clocked up four “never been to before” moments, not bad for over 50 years of living here. There were about 24 JAFA’s in the fun rally and a big welcome to Ross and Kimberley who joined us in their beautiful 1957 220S Roundy.

We started under the impressive Auckland Harbour Bridge, followed the coastline to The Viaduct and created a traffic jam on Queens Wharf, looking for the answers to the many clues. Some more obvious than others! Next visit to Queens Wharf will include a more thorough counting of the wooden posts.

Tallying up the traffic lights on Queen Street seemed to take forever. We stopped at every intersection except one. Hard to see where the $40 million facelift went. We’re not planning on going up Queen St again in the near future! Worth another look though is the Californian Art display at the Auckland Art Gallery and a pleasant surprise to find a 1968 Mercedes Californian Coupé pride of place in the foyer belonging to our own Garry Boyce.

Later that morning we arrived at the Cenotaph, Auckland Museum, and the weather was sufficiently fine to pop the top down. As we made our way around the waterfront to St Heliers, Auckland was turning on a magnificent harbour vista, reminding us what a wonderful city we live in when we are not stuck in traffic or stopping at Queen St traffic lights.

We then made our way through Pt England, a suburb destined for big things in the unitary plan, so a last look at an affordable waterfront area before it’s turned into Half Moon Bay version two. We wish now we had kept that ex-housing corp house all those years ago! Onwards and upwards we climbed to the summit of Mt Wellington before heading westwards to the airport and the magical Otautaua Stonefields reserve. Amazing to have this historical site so close to suburbia and worth another look, even if it is just to help yourself to a few free avocados on the way.

Getting hungry now, we crossed the Mangere Bridge to our final destination at Monte Cecilia Park and the beautiful Pah Homestead, home to the generous Wallace Art gallery. There we sat on the balcony looking out on splendid gardens basking in the success of yet another fun rally and pleased to see Alison take out the first prize with Graeme coming in a close fought second, and Vivian and Harald third.

What’s next I hear you ask? Well pencil in Sunday October 6th when we will yet again be traversing little explored roads around West Auckland whilst keeping a wary eye on fuel consumption. Don’t miss it.

Chris and Angelique