Thousands relish a perfect Auckland weekend

By David Eames

More than 10,000 people mixed pinot with paella and sauv blanc with shish kebabs at one of several big events in Auckland at the weekend.

About 12,000 visitors were expected for this year's Devonport Food and Wine Festival, raising about $100,000 for the KidsCan children's charity.

By mid-afternoon yesterday, police had experienced few crowd problems in the two-day event.

Nobody had been arrested, though things got a little rowdy on Saturday night.

Putiki winemaker Jamie Zapp said the festival was the Waiheke vineyard's best marketing opportunity of the year.

His company alone was likely to sell about a pallet of wine - 720 bottles - during the event.

The Devonport festival was not the only happening in the city.

Traffic was heavy throughout Auckland early on Saturday morning as thousands of people drove to watch the cruise liner Queen Mary 2 arrive in the city.

Vehicle flows came to a halt at many Waitemata Harbour vantage points, including Tamaki Drive, where one east-bound lane became a temporary carpark.

And about 80,000 people attended the 7th Mission Bay Jazz and Blues Streetfest on Saturday night.

Auckland youngsters also had activities to keep them busy.

The 15th annual Weet-Bix Kids Tryathlon was held at Vellenoweth Green, St Heliers, yesterday.

About 3000 budding athletes swam (up to 200m), ran (up to 1.5km) and cycled (up to 8km).

The "tryathlon" is the second of eight held throughout New Zealand each year.

A busy Auckland weekend was capped by the second one-day cricket match between New Zealand and Australia at Eden Park.

The roads were beginning to quieten by 6pm. Police had little to report, apart from congestion "around the peak activity areas".

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