A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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To The SkyTower


Today the Auckland skyline is dominated by the SkyTower, the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere.

At 1076 feet, it looks like a giant hypodermic needle, yet somehow, it feels like it belongs in this city, like it has always been here, though it was completed in 1997.

A friend told me it was very controversial when it was built.  “When it first opened, real estate companies advertised properties that promised no view of the SkyTower.  But now everyone wants a view of it,” he said.


The tower is part of the SkyCity complex, a rather tacky 24-hour casino with restaurants, bars, cafes and a hotel.

It is also an exercise in national branding, as this popular tourist destination offers visitors a chance to do some of the extreme adventures New Zealand is known for.

At the top of the tower, visitors can try to make it around the SkyWalk, a six foot wide walkway that is 630 feet off the ground.

This narrow band of metal mesh encircles the SkyTower like a halo. Brave souls walk around the tower with no rails or balconies to steady them.  They are harnessed to the tower, but who wants to test that system?

Other adventurers may prefer the SkyJump, a 16-second 46 mile per hour base jump from the observation deck.  People who have done it say it’s more like a parachute jump than a bungy.



I’m going to take their word for it. Let’s face it:  I’m a flatlander.  My palms were sweating just walking around the enclosed observation deck.

But what a view of Auckland.

November 21, 2008   7 Comments

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