The Retirees Escape to Auckland – Part 4

Tomorrow we meet Cilla and Bob who were our inspiration to travel to Auckland New Zealand. Cilla and Bob live in Attenborough outside Nottingham (Yes the UK). For those who followed our travels in the UK you will already know them and for those who don’t then let me put it this way – Cilla organises the local church working bee for the Church of St Mary the Virgin in Attenborough and we toiled with her amongst the gravestones and Bob well he works at the Nottingham University (not Trent Uni). Cilla and Bob were visiting Auckland for their daughter’s wedding and we thought it was a good opportunity to catch up as our visiting flight was only 3 hours not 26 hours if we went to the UK.

Arrangements had been made – we would meet outside our apartment building and go to One Tree Hill and have lunch at a cafe close by. We knew when Bob had arrived – typical English driving you park your car in the direction you want to go not the direction of the traffic.

One Tree Hill located in Cornwall Park is a 182-metre (597 ft) an important memorial place for both Maori and other New Zealanders. Cilla was certain that visitors could no longer drive to the summit so we walked (and walked and walked and then climbed to the summit past the parked cars of the other visitors). It is surrounded by the suburbs but located within Cornwall Park which is owned by a private trust established to hold the land for the use of the public.  The summit provides views across the Auckland area, and allows visitors to see both of Auckland’s harbours.

On the summit of the hill is an obelisk (not a tree surprisingly), a memorial to Maori. Before the obelisk stands a bronze statue of a Māori warrior. Beneath it is the grave of Sir John Logan Campbell who bequeathed £5,000 for the obelisk and established the trust for the creation of Cornwall Park.

Of course we then had to walk down the hill to the car for a short journey to the Cornwall Park Cafe. Whilst not as splendid as Tantalus, the ambience and the company made up for it and we reminisced about church yards gravestones and that bloody holly tree that I had to trim. It was lovely to meet them again and made us both miss the Midlands of England even more. After lunch (about 3.00pm) Bob dropped us at the Auckland City Hospital to try and recover the records of Kerry’s visit and pay any outstanding expenses. The clinical notes had not been written up and we are still waiting for the records. Australia and NZ have an agreement about emergency trips to the hospital so there was not charge for the overnight stay.

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