Existing Member?

AdventurSpirit Travel memories fade fast if not recorded. This is an account of my travels - and adventure spirit...

First time in NZ - Auckland

NEW ZEALAND | Sunday, 19 August 2007 | Views [1145]

Up at 4.30am for 7.15am flight out from Tullamarine airport.... *yawn*... what are the chances that the flight was delayed?? Oh nvm. I flew Emirates - had a ball, watched 'Next' with movies on demand and had yummy omelette breakky... the 3.5 hr flight went by real quick - didnt even have time to get some shuteye!

Arrival Auckland Airport 2pm local time - lost 2 hrs in transit.... I cant believe how wet it is... =(

Auckland airport is just 30mins away by cab. Got to my hotel and checked in - NICE!!! Skycity Hotel is very nice indeed. After freshening up, I booked myself into a tour for tomorrow to Bay of Islands and went out exploring.

Took the City LINK bus around the city for NZ$1.60 round trip - cheap!!! Had a nice bus driver offer to take me around the next day... uhhh... too bad I've already booked a tour. Dropped off at Viaduct Harbour and wandered around a little bit - it was bloody cold and windy, but I was determined to explore with the little time I have in Auckland. At 6pm, it was understandable that Auckland resturants were a bit dead. I was looking for the busiest resturant in the belief that it would be one of the best.... but there was just no one around!!! Walked around a little bit more and settled for an Italian joint called Al Dente. The food was really good - I had the Antony Pasta which I had with spagetthi, fresh baby spinach, fresh salmon with cream, basil and italian tomato sauce topped with sundried tomatos. Through dinner, I got chatting with the waiter, Alex, who also offered to take me around Auckland on Sunday - what a pity I had already booked a tour! He left me his number to text him later to catchup for a drink. Had my dessert (Tiramisu - YUM!!) and went off my merry way.

Back at the hotel, decided to go down to the gaming floor for a wander around. While watching some live entertainment at the gaming floor - I got approached by a korean pilot with Korean Air who asked if he could buy me a drink.... what's going on??? Thats like the 3rd 'pickup' in half a day!! Anyways, I politely declined. So I was sitting at the bar by myself drinking my scotch and coke and decided - what the hell. I texted Alex.

Before I knew what was happening, we were zooming away in his bright yellow car. We went up to Mt Eden, but unfortunately the gate was shut and I wasnt game to walk up to the summit in the dark. So off we went to the north shore where we got a really nice view of the Harbour Bridge. It was still raining lightly and I got to know Alex a little bit better. He is italian/maltese and only 23 (he' a baby!). And he had only been in Auckland for the last 7 years and only been speaking english for that long... We decided to move to the next spot - under the Harbour Bridge where we were next to the wharf. He tells me that a lot of people have boats here but never takes them out to sea. A lot of these boats dont see the ocean at all. Talking more about real estate in general and comparing Melbourne's rental market to Auckland, I couldnt believe that Alex was paying NZ$400/wk for a studio apartment! I commented that it must be a huge studio for that sort of rental... In that context, he invited me up to his place to have a look... It seemed innocent enough, but I thought better of it and decided to head back to the hotel. I thanked Alex for his hospitality and told him that if he ever found himself in Melbourne that I would return the favour =)... Back at the hotel... totally exhausted I crashed....

Up at 6am the next day - the tour bus came to pick me up from the hotel at 10 to 7am. The tour was very pleasant. I slept a lot of the way (it is a 3hr drive afterall). Lots of stops on the way and that's where I met my Alpaca friend (see photos). She's sooooo cute!!! Onward to the Waitangi Treaty Ground where I learnt a lot more about the Maori heritage and language. Our bus driver was half Maori and half Caucasian so he knew alot about Maori heritage. He taught me how to say 'Kia Ora' which is hello in Maori. Then I took the Excitor Cruise from the Bay of Islands to Cape Brett - which wasnt that exciting btw, because the weather was calm and the sea was flat as a pancake.... blah!!!! We did, however, get windblown and very cold. Was glad to get back to the bus and head back to Auckland - slept all the way back....

Back at the hotel - went up to Orbit resturant up the top of Skytower for a nice meal. Just had the scallops entree with a side of steamed veges. The scallops were beautiful!! It was getting quite late... and I had to go into the Auckland office to present tomorrow. After having a chat with Vinny with the phonecard I bought, I turned in for the night.

Sunrise over the Harbour Bridge

Sunrise over the Harbour Bridge

Tags: Eating & sightseeing



Travel Answers about New Zealand

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.