Auckland story

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chris worked tirelessly in the myeloma community, offering support and comfort to so many.

We will miss you, Chris.

Chris Hollyer
May 4, 1947 - September 11, 2006

Tuesday, November 29, 2005




Hi, I’m Chris, and I live in Auckland New Zealand. We are having a virtual World Tour and I am your host for New Zealand!

We have recently learnt that Resveratrol may have some strong anti myeloma
effects and one of the objectives of this World Tour is to compare the relative efficacy of Resveratrol as we go!!!

Well, you’ve come to the right place for wine, here in New Zealand. In the last 20 years the wine industry has exploded and we are now known for some very fine Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Noirs, so we should be able to cater for all tastes.

Let’s start in Auckland, where I live. Auckland is known as the City of Sails, but
in the Maori language, Auckland is known as Tamaki Makau Rau, the city of 100 lovers. It earned this name because it was a place desired by all and conquered by many. According to the official Auckland web site:

“The Auckland region is an antipasto of environments laid out on a huge platter to make one amazing city, boasting three harbours, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones and more than 50 islands. Auckland's population is approximately 1.3 million, making it by far the largest city in New Zealand, with one third of the country's entire population”. So there you are.
If you go here http://tinyurl.com/83lmf you will see some images of Auckland.

I live in a seaside suburb called Devonport and you can see where that is in Auckland by going here: http://www.nzmaps.co.nz/ Click on ‘DE’ for Devonport
and you will see that we have beaches on three sides. Here is a picture of Cheltenham Beach, with one of the extinct volcanoes ‘Rangitoto’ in the background.



If you go here http://www.devonport.co.nz/ you will see the little village where I live. If you get as far as ‘The Masonic Tavern’, that is my local pub!

Out in the Hauraki Gulf, about a 30 minute ferry ride from Devonport is the Waiheke Island, where there are the closest vineyards to the CBD. There are something like 19 vineyards or olive oil groves on Waiheke and they produce some excellent wine. Here are some images of Waiheke:




This is where we should start our Resveratrol survey; there is a vinyard tour, wonderful restaurants for lunch and dinner and excellent accomodation if we miss the last ferry back to Devonport!

Auckland is a multi-cultural city with Europeans, Maori and Pacific Islanders, and immigrant communities from from India, China, and Yugoslavia. Out to West Auckland, and the vineyards planted by Yugoslav and Dalmatian immigrants fifty or sixty years ago is where we will go next. Here is an image from the annual Pasifika festival:

That's all for now,
Chris
PS, sorry the links aren't active, Blogger isn't Macintosh friendly... I'll try and work it out next time!


SO! we’re off to the West Coast... I should point out a few things:
Auckland is on an isthmus, quite narrow, that separates two oceans. On the east we have the Pacific Ocean (we are protected by those 50 islands) and on the West, the Tasman Sea, which is part of the Indian Ocean. The west coast is rugged, black sand surf beaches, much like some parts of Hawaii. Here is a map of the Auckland area, showing the long, straight west coast beaches:



The surf pounds in, and last month we had the WCT tour of world champ surfers in Raglan - about 1 1/2 hours South of Auckland.




At Muriwai beach, we have one of the largest Gannet breeding colonies in the Southern hemisphere:





Black sand beaches are magical; the black colour is caused by a high concentration of iron oxide in the sand, and many stretches of coastline (not surf beaches) are mined for the iron ore. However, they are unbearably hot on the feet in summer!!Here are some pictures of the west coast beaches:





West Auckland is also famous as one of the most prolific grape growing areas in the region. From Henderson Valley in the south, to Hellensville, further north, there are big vineyards all the way through, and some of the biggest names in New Zealand wines.... (let’s not forget the medical research reason for which we are here:-)).

This is the traditional home of the Dalmatian wine-making pioneers. Varieties grown include Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Noir and Merlot. Some of the better known vineyards are: Babich, Cooper’s Creek, Fuller’s, Delegat’s, Landmark, Lincoln and Mazuran’s. Mazuran’s 1950 Old Tawny Port sells for $350 a bottle..... They have a wonderful old art deco building which I will have to photograph for you.

So that’s our next stop on the Resveratrol trail - hope you enjoy it! Here are some more images of the West Coast.

Chris