We stayed on Waiheke for a further two days. We’d been down to Blackpool beach at the bottom of our street in search of shore birds, but they were being rather uncooperative – standing around on a patch of grass instead of posing more picturesquely by the sea. Undeterred, we set out further afield in search of Whakanewha Regional Reserve, where we’d been told there might be better prospects. Indeed, we found them, in the form of New Zealand dotterels and variable oystercatchers aplenty. We also managed a substantial walk around a loop track, and did a bit of the Dottie Track where we saw banded rails.
|New Zealand dotterel|
|Variable oystercatchers, demonstrating variability|
We lunched in Surfdale at Found, which, despite running out of halloumi, nevertheless managed to provide us with some decent nosh.
The following day we were back out on the wine trail – this time to Cable Bay wines, where we were welcomed by Jamie, a Canadian who was on a working visa for a year and had previously worked at Noble Rot in Wellington, so we chatted to her about Wellington and wine, whilst tasting her wares. Then we headed over to the other side of the island, to Waiheke’s most-awarded winery, Passage Rock. Again we had a good talk, with the owner and winemaker, David. We’d decided to stop there for lunch, as they also have an exceptional bistro attached, and had salmon and escargots.
In the afternoon we revisited the cultural centre to see Whittaker's Music Museum, where we learnt about pianos and other musical instruments, some of which could be played, others were "Do Not Touch". They'd been collected over a lifetime by Lloyd Whittaker
In the evening we drove out to 372 in Onetangi for our final meal on the island. Having been so impressed by them a couple of days ago at lunchtime, we decided to give them the pleasure of our company again, and they did us proud – I had the salmon tiradito that Nicola had had previously, followed by a slow-cooked lamb shoulder, and Nicola had shiitake dumplings followed by fish of the day. All delicious, and definitely gets my recommendation!
We were up early the next day to catch the ferry to Auckland, and, after dropping off our bags and rental car, headed into Auckland CBD for some lunch. Once again we were making lunch the main meal of the day as we would be at the Globe in the evening, so had burgers at Danny Doolan’s, an entirely inauthentic Irish pub. So inauthentic it didn’t even have a bicycle on the wall, which I understood was mandatory for Irish pubs.
In the evening, it pissed down. We started out towards the Globe on foot, but were eventually defeated by the weather so finished the journey by taxi, arriving in the nick of time and unfed. We managed to procure some food in the interval – chips and wine, two of the main food groups.
Despite the weather, the show must go on. The groundlings were equipped with rain ponchos and similar, and it was noticeable that the actors stayed away from the edge of the stage, which was exposed to the elements, unless forced to (at some points they have to descend the steps at the front and exit via the crowd). Occasionally the swirling wind gusted some rain at us, but for the most part we stayed dry. The play itself was well-executed, although as with all Shakespeare comedies, the convoluted plot leaves you thinking “why bother with all that?”. But they pulled it off with much comic effect, throwing in some more modern touches again – such as having wheelie suitcases to indicate that they were going on a journey. Elbow, the policeman, was dressed in completely modern police garb, whilst the other characters where in mostly period costume.
So that’s our Pop-Up Globe adventure for this year…we will probably make this an annual fixture for as long as they continue to offer it. The following morning it was back to Wellington and more wet weather.