We finished moving over the weekend — the new apartment couldn’t be much more central to Auckland since we are now right across the street from the train station and the ferry terminal is just a block away. Unfortunately, the new place doesn’t have a carpark (parking garage) so we have to park our car in a garage a few blocks up the street.
So we decided to take the time today to figure out the train system and ride out to Panmure. It was amazingly simple. And amazingly clean — the trains looked brand new and were so quiet! Auckland has something called an AT (Auckland Transport) card — you can get it at the Britomart train station for $10 and put money on it. The card works for buses, trains AND ferries which is really convenient. It took all of five minutes to find the ticket counter and get our AT cards.
At Britomart (the central station in Auckland), the signs for the trains were well labeled and they said we had 22 minutes to spare before our train left so we had time to grab some coffee and explore the station. It was interesting to note that Britomart made their earthquake protection springs visible — I’m not sure why but it was really interesting to see given that my last blog was about earthquakes and seismic bracing.
With the AT card, you swipe your card before getting on the train and then again when you get off the train. It’s the same for the ferries. When you ride the bus, you swipe your card on the bus when you get on and then again on the bus when you get off. If you forget, the guy at the desk said you will get some kind of penalty fee but we didn’t ask how much it was.
We downloaded the Auckland Transport app on our smartphones while drinking our coffees. It’s pretty simple to use and will map your journey, help you find your stop, and show you status of the buses in real time. And the journey part works for trains, buses and ferries which is awesome.
Our trip was quick and easy — we got on at the Britomart and got off at Panmure. There was a Disney on Ice show going on at Vector Arena today in Auckland so we shared our car with quite a few children (and a few little girls in tiaras and princess dresses). At Panmure, it was just a quick five minute walk to Martha’s Backyard, also known as the American Store. It’s a small store for the most part, but I enjoyed seeing what kind of American food sells here in NZ — funny to note that they sold Vienna Sausages in bulk and had Crisco!
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