Well hello there, it’s been a little while hasn’t it?! I’m back by popular demand but can’t guarantee any funnies I’m afraid. I’m currently writing this from our hostel in Rotorua, but I thought I’d write about Auckland as I have some major catching up to do!
We were greeted in Auckland by crisp air and the sun high in the sky. I was surprised by how the season felt so different almost straight away, but it is currently spring here after all! The days have generally started out cold and then really hot towards midday and then cool again when the sun goes in. There seems to be a much bigger range in temperature throughout the day than at home.
(Look! Cherry blossom! In October!)
Our first three nights in Auckland were at the YHA, which was great because we were given a free upgrade to a self-contained flat shared kitchen/bathroom with one other room which felt like such luxury! Unfortunately when we went to book an extra night it was fully booked due to Maroon 5 playing in the city. We managed to find one other hostel with two beds free in the same room and it was grotty as hell. 8 man dorm with me being the only girl, stinking sheets, and bizarre weirdos everywhere. Not good, but anyway you win some you loose some!
In terms of the city itself, Auckland is built on a load of inactive volcanoes so it is SO FUCKING HILLY. It’s a really chilled, feels really safe and there is hardly anyone anywhere. We spent the first few days going “where the hell is everyone?” But we’ve come to realise that this country has a tiny population compared to home. How lovely!
We read in our lonely planet that Mount Eden was a good place to visit. Yes, you guessed it, it’s a volcano! A nice steep walk up to the top granted us views of the city which was really cool. The crater at the top is considered sacred by the Maoris so we didn’t walk inside it, but it was nice to see. Mount Eden is also a cool trendy area so we enjoyed a wander around the neighbourhood afterwards and Tom finally got his hands on one of the NZ pies that he’d heard so much about.
(Here’s me being poncy on top of a volcanoe)
The second day was spent lurking around the art gallery, and having a mild heart attack over the below exhibition.
Both feeling still ill from Fiji weirdly, so it was a bit of a chilled day that we both needed. Travelling is really tiring sometimes. How silly!
We also got sorted with a NZ mobile. Tom said it meant we are now like drug dealers who have two mobiles. Gangsta.
First lesson of NZ: just because blue fanta is $1 (50p) you don’t need to have it for breakfast. 🐧 penguin crisps though mum!
The next day we met up with Rand, Tom’s godfather’s brother (mouthful or what) and his family for lunch. It was so lovely to meet them, try out some Thai food (there’s a massive Asian population in Auckland) and get a bit of local knowledge. We then walked about a million miles to the Auckland museum only to discover the entry fee was out of our budget, but we did enjoy the free botanical gardens. (Bloody cheapskates.)
The night following was the one spent in the aforementioned dire hostel. We wandered the city until around 10pm because we didn’t want to go in. Had a pot noodle for tea and I had the revelation that I’d much rather eat noodles and spend the extra cash on double rooms. Getting snobby now I’ve hit my first quarter century me thinks! Anyway, it was good in a way because it made us eager to leave and head onwards to the bay of islands.
(Auckland’s sky tower is the tallest man made structure in the southern hemisphere. It towers above the city, yet it’s still 60m shorter than the Empire State Building, how insane is that?! NYC is so huge it’s ridiculous.)
More soon, I promise!