With no scheduled meetings or sites we have to see, we were free to explore Ponsonby Road and the California-like neighborhood where we are staying. There are many small bungalows and stately early 1900s era buildings, and cool cafes and shops along this main thoroughfare. Before we set out, Proprietor Gerry Hill showed us around his 11-room Great Ponsonby B&B, noting the many artists from Polynesia whose work adorns the walls.
We climbed the stairs to see the B&B’s Penthouse, a spacious apartment/room with a deck that looks out over the city, and his leafy lawn below. Gerry is well-known in the area, he was born in Wellington but has been here in Auckland for more than 30 years. He and his wife Sally dispense banana crepes and omelettes and keep their guests happy throughout the year.
One of the little things I like about New Zealand is how the residents can opt out of getting junk mail stuffed in their mailboxes. Once when I asked my post office not to put them in they said no way, they had to. Here you just buy a sign that says no circulars and that’s the end of it. They also have special trucks that drive around to pick up wastepaper, and there is virtually no litter to be seen. From an early age, Kiwis are taught that the environment is a priority, and from the clean public bathrooms to the pristine water in the lakes and rivers, it sure makes a difference.