Enter “Kiwi Land”
There really was no rest for the wicked after the immense tour along the Great Ocean Walk to the 12 Apostles as a day later, I had to pack my suitcase for a 5 and a half week bonanza in New Zealand! Even on the 3.5 hour flight over to Auckland from Melbourne, you can tell that this country is one of the friendliest around with their “Happy Traveller” in-flight safety videos and their unique Moari artwork greeting you as you make your way through customs at Auckland Airport.
Before my next 3 and a half weeks guided tour through this amazing country, I had time to explore a little bit of Auckland so let me take you around some of the spots I went to!
This is the biggest city in New Zealand with over 1.6 million people and is located in the “northish” west part of the North Island [Source]. In fact, nearly half of New Zealand’s permanent residents live in this city and it’s where most of the transport in to and out of the country happens so will likely be the first place you visit when you fly over.
The “Omnipresent” Jucy Snooze
On the day I arrived, I needed to head over to the hostel I was staying at for the start of the guided tour – I told you there was no rest for the wicked! The name of this hostel company is called “Jucy Snooze” and we were staying at the one in Auckland Central (Emily Place), opposite one of the smelliest trees I’ve ever smelt. It was horrible! Don’t get to close to it, that’s all I can say!
The reason I used the word “omnipresent” here is because this brand is EVERYWHERE in New Zealand. They rent out these little camper vans and it seems there are literally thousands of them parading around! When I went back to Australia after this 5 and a half weeks, I thought I’d escaped them but no, like a plague of “Jucy locusts”, they’ve made their way over there as well haha! There really was no escape.
Nonetheless, I checked in, admiring the saucy artwork associated with Jucy and met my room mate – Jan from Hamburg, Germany. We chatted and got on really well for the whole trip, so much so we’re still in contact now. The first thing we did was play a game called “Dobble” that I brought over – it’s a simple picture matching game but my goodness, it created some incredible scenes as the trip went on, you’ll see why in future blogs!
My advice would be to wear earplugs if you want to get some sleep. It’s pretty noisy in there, the walls aren’t the best insulated and if you’re facing the outside street, you can hear everything! The beds were alright but not designed with taller people in mind so think about getting a double if you’re taller than average
Coffee Club Cafe, High Street
Once we got acquainted, we decided to head out to Auckland Central and did a bit of exploring. From the hostel, we knew what we needed to do – get some cake and energy! So we walked over to the Coffee Club on the High Street and it had EXACTLY what we needed to boost us through the rest of the day! I got a delicious chocolate cake along with an English tea for around $11 NZD which was too good a deal to pass up! The ambience and vibe of the place is pretty relaxed as well and you feel like you’re out of the manic clutches of the High Street outside which made for a nice change too.
Walking Along Auckland Pier
Once we had recharged, it was time to make our way over to the harbour or pier area before the Sun went down and see what was going on over there. Compared to the fresh and clean sea air we have been accustomed to in the last 6 or so blogs, the air around these parts was not so much fresh as it was “fishy”. Unsurprising really given the fact it’s a harbour! Oh and the smell of diesel from the boats. Nonetheless, there are still some trendy restaurants, cafes and bars along this harbour walk which you may enjoy if you’re staying around for a few nights. The maritime museum is also at the harbour here and the Emirates Team New Zealand Base, which is where the team trains for big events like the Americas Cup.
We continued our exploration down the pier, past the basketball court and what we thought was going to be a “park” in the traditional sense, you know, grass, trees and other marvellous green pieces of nature, turned out to be a silo park haha! Well, this is the concrete jungle after all.
Still, once we walked past the silo park, we reached the end of this section of the harbour and saw this pretty cool yacht before heading back. Would you like to own a yacht like this one and sail in to the sunset? Let the party commence!
Aroy Thai Restaurant
After our little sunset walk around the harbour, it was time to head out for dinner and we made our way over to a Thai restaurant called “Aroy Thai“, located on Commerce Street (between 5-10 minutes from our beloved Jucy “Impossible To” Snooze hostel). A good ambience and food at a decent price, it’s well worth visiting if you’re in the mood for Thai food 🙂 Prices are around $14-$15 NZD for all mains.
And that concludes our little snapshot of Auckland and entry in to New Zealand. We’ll be heading north up towards the Bay of Islands in the next couple of blogs and getting back out in to nature. I have to say, I much prefer the natural wonders vs the cities. How about you?
Until the next one, take it easy!
PHC Top 3 – A Chance To Win From A Growing Prize Pool
Well, whilst I’m here, I might as well take the chance to tell you about a new contest that I’ve been a part of with the Power House Creatives called @phctop3. All you need to do is tell us what your top 3 favourites for a chance to win from a growing prize pool – more info here.