Conference are good opportunities for graduate students for travel. For my university, the earliest we can reach a conference venue is the day before the start of the conference.
We have to start returning on the day following the last day of the conference. With some preparation, this is good enough for sightseeing and souvenir shopping :o).
These photos are from Auckland, New Zealand, where I attended my first international conference outside of Japan 2 years ago. The dates were from the 7th to the 14th of August, around the same time of the year as now.
Auckland is known as the "City of Sails", because of these boats.
I stayed in Auckland City Youth Hostel. New Zealand has undreds of youth hostels; much cheaper than hotels, and much more fun as you get to know more people and places.
Even though it was winter, the grass stayed green. In Japan, the grass turns into straw.
I climbed Mount Eden, which is an inactive volcano. The crater is about 50 m deep.
The city was nice with a few old buildings, and some modern architecture around the city tower.
A couple of old buildings
City tower and the sky scrapers
Fire and water together