Auckland Travel Blog› entry 60 of 93 › view all entries
And so with fantastic tans, it was onwards to Auckland. We were lucky enough to meet a lovely couple on Bounty Island, Ken and Sue who lived in NZ and on the same flight back as us. They offered to give us a lift into town and dropped us right off at our hostel.
We headed off to get our bearings and have a quick look around the city. We made our way along Queen Street, the main road running through the city centre and then onto the port for a look around. Ending up in a cute little Italian for dinner, jet lag caught up on us and we called it a day.
The next morning, we decided to have a nose around the Sky City complex which we were going to be staying at upon meeting up with Nick's family.
On Friday we hopped on the ferry to take us to Rangitoto, a 600 year old volcano. We hiked our way to the top for some stunning views of Auckland and the Huaraki. It was quite a tough hike but well worth the views and we walked around the crater rim too. A dormant volcano, luckily for me the only thing that was eruting on the island was Nick's bum and we returned safely to the main city.
Satuday morning and heading to K Road, just south of the city centre, we were expecting to be met with some hustle and bustle. However, the city seemed to be still sleeping and most places seemed somewhat deserted. We made our way along Ponsonby Rd which had a nice cafe scene and plenty of bars. Then we caught the Link bus to Parnell, we had a stroll around their old-school shopping arcade before walking home, cooking tea and heading out to find some Auckland night life.
We started in Bar 3 in Sky City (very posh - I loved it here), then checked out some live music in The Occidental Belgian Beer Cafe (dodgy old blues band), The Vulcan (better band playing decent covers and a cute drummer) and finished with a quiet drink in Dacota.
After a lovely long lie in, the weather outside was awful so today, we had a quiet, chilled out day, with Nick only leaving the hostel to satisfy my chocolate craving, bliss.
Getting up, both feeling very excited, we headed straight to the Airport to meet Barbara and Al. Arriving at the airport just in time to meet the flight, Nick could not keep the smile of his face as we closely watched the streams of people filing out into arrivals. It was amomgst this big crowd that Nick and I spotted someone looking just like Ads, surely not we thought. Then there was his familiar green backpack - there cannot be two Ads look-alikes with that distinctive backpack can there??? And when this Ads look-alike green backpack-carrying guy came and embraced us, we were still speechless.
Needless to say, we were both chuffed to bits and when Al and Barbara emerged the smiles just got wider. Hugs all around, it was to the taxi rank to get a ride into town. Nick however still had one big surprise as there was another special someone who had crossed the globe to see him. Tuffty* was in New Zealand and I'm sure there was a tear in Nick's eye when they were reunited. Once checked into Sky City, we all headed out for some great fush and chups along Queens Street before looking around some of the shops and the port area. Back at the hotel and after planning our itinerary for the next few weeks, we ended the eventful day with a gorgeous dinner at the top of the Sky City in their revolving restaurant.
Another ferry trip on Tuesday, but this time to the quaint town of Devonport, a mere 15 minutes away. We climbed Mount Head for some more stunning views before walking along Cheltenham beach. Another hike up Mount Victoria followed lunch and then a mosy throught the little shops along Devonport High Street.
Back in Auckland, that evening we met Paul, a friend of Al's who took us for dinner at the gorgoues Italinan Nick and I ate at on our first night. A few nightcaps at the Sky City Bar 3 rounded of another lovely evening.
The next morning Barbara and Al went on the Explorer tour around the city and to see the penguins at Kelly Tarlton's underwater world whilst Nick, Ads and I enjoyed some time in the sauna and the pool.
Up early and after breakfast, Nick and Al caught the bus to the airport to pick up the car. After some last minute tetris-style packing, we all piled into the car and it was onwards to Whangarei, the Lions of Zion and the Bay of Islands.
* Tufty is Nick's favourite childhood bear and an endless source of amusement to me.