Auckland, New Zealand, the land of the Kiwi, May 2011

Auckland, New Zealand, the land of the Kiwi, May 2011

Lately my husband has been attending more overseas conferences, and this is a great opportunity for me to tag along. I have been to a few places over the years and having the chance to be in New Zealand this year, was truly amazing.

As you probably know, that New Zealand is really far down under, a truly long-haul flight from the UK. Lucky for me, I did the stop over in Jakarta on my way there, great chance to see family too.

We only had a week in Auckland and most of the time I was exploring Solo as my husband could not escape the conference before late in the afternoon. There were a few afternoons where we did explore the city together, and that was awesome.

Some of the classic behaviour I find when I travelled so far away from home, that I was trying to make the most of the money I spent for the trip. Flying to New Zealand was fairly expensive, so I wanted to see as many things as possible.  However, making the attempt to cramped everything, attempting to see as many places as possible could lead to some travel problems. Luckily, I was able to control myself most of the time, and sticked to interesting places I can reach easily.

When we were in Zealand, the Auckland Triathlon was taking place that week, and people could join the crowd and see great sportsmen and women competing. It was really special.

New Zealand Triathlon 2011

Viaduct Harbour

I spent a lot of time hanging around this harbour. This is the Auckland’s waterfront harbour, kind of similar to that of Darling harbour in Sydney (if you have been to Darling harbour, you will understand my comparison). There are so many great cafes and restaurants here. The New Zealand Maritime museum is located here and the lovely Marina with some amazing boats moored there. It was rather windy most days, and as it was nearly autumn in New Zealand, it was  nippy with the wind.

Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour

The Sky Tower
One of the tallest buildings in Auckland was the Sky Tower. At the top, you can take in 360-degree views of the city, and enjoy some lovely meals at the cafe and the restaurants available up there. There are also a few gits shops up there, selling local gifts. I spent a long time up at the top of the tower taking pictures of the city around me.  The views from up here were truly stunning.

Auckland’s Sky Tower in a far right.

Waiheke islands
Waiheke islands are located within the Hauraki Gulf near Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi. The islands feature several vineyards and olive groves, and many varieties of interesting shops, cafes and restaurants.  Waiheke islands has some amazing golden beaches, and great country walks up the hills too. You can hop on the Ferry from the Downtown Ferry Terminal to get here, it’s only a short journey away from the mainland, cost approximately $35 round trip.

Waiheke Islands

Auckland City

Apparently, Waiheke is famous for producing great wines, and believed to be one of New Zealand’s best wine producers. One thing which was a little disappointing for me was that Kiwi fruits were terribly expensive here, knowing that Kiwi fruits are actually grown here. I did ask a person why, and she said “blame the free trade” – most of the good crops would be exported out of the country and only a small amount of Kiwi left for the locals to enjoy. I am not sure if I wanted to believe that, but the prices suggest this could be true.

Waiheke Islands marina

Most of our 6 days in Auckland were used to explore the city, doing long walks, visiting famous tourist destinations, and photographing everything I could. I really love Auckland, very cosmopolitan. I found a lot of South East Asian people live here, from Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and other places.

Auckland City, a few from the Sky Tower

I would love to go back, perhaps to explore many more places in the country.

Happy holiday.

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