Sky tower, Auckland

The tallest freestanding structure in the Southern Hemisphere.

It's 328m from the base to the top of the mast (research!) and it was opened to the public in August 1997. (I thought it was a lot older.) It's a viewing and telecommunications tower.

The tower is part of the Skycity casino complex and you need to enter the Skycity building and go downstairs to get to the entrance of the tower. You can buy a ticket to the viewing platform in the gift shop. The tower also offers some thrill seeker options, the Skyjump which is where you jump from the observation desk, it's guide cable controlled so you don't fall to your death! Or crash into the side of the tower. There's also a Skywalk where you walk outside the observation area.

I chose the more sedate option of going up in the lift and admiring the view from the observation desk!!

Looking across the Devonport and the ferries going across.

In the centre of the picture on the wharf, is the Hilton Hotel, it's built in the shape of a cruise ship.

The marina and the only bridge across the harbour, and the cause of a lot of congestion!

The observation deck has areas where you can stand on thickened glass and look straight down at the ground!

It was great going up and seeing the view, it is a bit of a tourist trap as they take your photo infront of a green screen as you head for the elevator and then as you leave the gift shop, they try to sell you the pictures, your image is in the tower, there are day and night shots.

There are 3 restaurants, including the 360degrees one which revolves as you're seated there, and a cafe on the tower.