Aw shucks

Dear Sir,

Such is the quality of the Travel section in the New Zealand Herald that it has become my Tuesday morning fix, taking me places I can only dream of as I do a lot of armchair travel. But today was extra special for I so enjoyed "Hong Kong's Hidden Treasures" by Neda Vanovac, a brilliantly written piece (in my opinion) evoking the feel of actually being there. Please pass on my congratulations and praise.

A trip to Eastwoodhill Arboretum was a long-held dream of mine, realised two years ago. It did not disappoint and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in plants, or not. My only disappointment was in climbing to the top of a hill touted as a good vantage point only to have the view spoiled by some tall growing trees.


Warmest regards, Ann
Airport views
Dear Sir,

With reply to Simon Gilmore regarding the observation lounge closure at Auckland Airport. It has been closed for a very long time. We have tried to find out why, without success. At one information counter we were told it was being renovated, but that was ages ago. We really miss it as when there are delays it was much more fun for people than sitting downstairs bored.

In addition, there was previously a very nice bar/lounge adjacent to the viewing area.

The closure of these well-visited features seems extraordinary.

Colleen Wright, Botany Downs
Dear Sir

We went to Fiji in August 2015 and the public viewing deck/observation lounge at Auckland International terminal was closed before this. We visited Auckland Airport in late April 2016 and it was still closed. We didn't think it would take 10 months or longer to renovate this area. Signs in the area just past the food court don't explain much - they tell people to use the viewing carparks in Puhinui Rd towards Manukau. It would be nice when visiting the airport with kids/family that you would be able to visit the viewing areas to see the planes, especially when the Auckland Airport company charges far too much for the carparking. It is time that something was done to finish the renovations.

Wendy McPartland, Pukekohe
The Travel Editor replies: Last week, reader Simon Gilmore asked what had happened to the observation lounge at Auckland Airport. Here's the reply from airport management:

Auckland Airport has begun a major upgrade and expansion of its international departure terminal, which unfortunately required the closure of the public viewing deck. This upgrade - which we're delivering in stages to keep the airport operational throughout - will double the departure, retail and passenger space in the international terminal to accommodate the predicted rapid growth in passenger numbers.

"This project is one of the steps in creating the 'airport of the future' that will feature a new plaza, hotels, retail, walkways, public art, multiple transport options and ultimately a second runway.

"More information is available at"

Graham Matthews
GM airport development and deliver

Auckland doesn't suck

Dear Editor,

Re: Eli Orzessek's "Why Auckland Sucks". I fully endorse the comments re: Auckland International Airport and of Auckland cruise facilities made by Ian Read [Letters to the Travel Editor, Travel, May 10] disputing comments made in this editorial. I, like Ian Read, have travelled extensively through many countries, arriving by air and sea, and have no problem with Auckland facilities - in fact they are up there with the best.

What is it that makes people want to criticise everything New Zealand? I strongly suspect that people who have travelled maybe to Australia and UK set themselves up as experts with no real understanding of world travel. The [airport bus] is fine - I have always had great service on it, but naturally one expects traffic - we are in Auckland not a minor city.

Gail Filmer, Whangaparaoa

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