Sure, it’s 4 months after the fact but I’ve finally written up a synopsis for my trip!
First day in Auckland was spent going to Auckland Skytower. It has two observation decks – one at 186m and another one at 220m. The city looks great from all angles. You can see Rangitoto Island, the North Shore, and the vast Auckland motorway system from above. I then moved on to the Auckland Hop-on Hop-off tour bus. It’s the best way to see Auckland! The driver/guides are friendly and I was able to max out a whole day just by staying on the bus, or in some cases, choose to hop-off and explore. The highlight of this was climbing up Mount Eden/Maungawhau. The climb is steep but once you reach the top, the view is breathtaking!
The first half of my second day was spent at Waiheke Island. My best friend recommended this to me, and it did not disappoint! Who knew that a ‘slice of heaven’ was right on Auckland’s doorstep? It reminds me of Redcliffe or Mackay back here in Australia. Fullers have a quick tour bus that shows you the whole island in roughly 3 hours. Highly recommend this! The second half was spent at Mission Bay. It has a Wynnum kind of vibe to it, but was pleasant.
The third day was spent exploring the Museum of Transport and Technology. It’s a great way of exploring New Zealand’s transport and technological history. This was followed by a visit to the Auckland Museum. I got to learn so much about Maori culture and history through the trip to the museum. I would love to experience that more in another trip to New Zealand in the future.
It’s hard to explain what I saw in Auckland, so I embedded my photo slideshow at the top of this post. If you’re considering visiting Auckland and New Zealand one day, do it! If you’re an Aussie, like me, New Zealand is great holiday destination as it’s not too expensive and is only a 3 hour flight from the East Coast.
Well, I got here at the airport at 3:30am thinking I’d had to wait another hour for check-in to open. However, to my surprise, it already was open! The check-in process for Virgin Australia was very efficient. Customs didn’t open till another hour but that was a fast experience as well. For some people, international air travel might be daunting but I was lucky to be exposed to air travel at such a young age, so for me, I’m quite used to it. It’s a 3 hour flight from Brisbane to Auckland. I have my iPad ready with movies, and my iPod nano for music. We’re boarding in 10 minutes so I’ll check back when I get to Auckland!
5:42pm – Auckland, New Zealand
Landed in Auckland 15 minutes early, and went through Customs and Immigration with no issue. Riding the Skybus through Auckland’s suburbs, I had the sense of seeing new things but at the same time a feeling of familiarity. The shared heritage and development between Australia and New Zealand is definitely evident. However, one thing I noticed is that American chains have a better footing than their attempts in Australia. One of the things I wanted to try here was Wendy’s. You might be thinking – isn’t that American? Well, yes. New Zealand is home to some American fast food chains that Australia does not have. Carl’s Jr and Dunkin’ Donuts is the other one. First thing I did, after getting a SIM card, was to go straight to Wendy’s. I ordered a large Baconator combo. Well…large is certainly…large!
I’m pretty sure that’s equivalent to super-size in the US. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. I couldn’t finish the sides though because they were too large for me!
My hotel room is awesome. Look at the view! It’s the Bankside Waldorf Apartments on Shortland Street.
Walking through Queen Street in Auckland, I felt right at home. It has a cosmopolitan feel that reminds me of back home in Brisbane. Because of this familiarity, I act more like a local rather than a tourist. I shall explore this city even more tomorrow!
Follow my trip on Twitter! My username is compositiondept and trip tweets will have the hashtag #NZTrip15.