New Zealand: Auckland
After drying off from Black Water Rafting and eating the provided warming soup and bread, we embarked on a 2.5 hour drive to Auckland.
Driving in the inner city area didn’t phase us too much. Compared to Melbourne CBD, it was much easier!
We stayed at Econo Lodge, which was adequate for a night or two, and that’s all you need if you constantly going out. A memorable thing that does stay in my mind is that the person who did the laundry folded everything and waited past the cut-off time for us to pick it up!
As mentioned in my previous post, we were eager to try more traditional Maori cuisine but we couldn’t find any. I guess it’s similar to people coming to Australia and asking what Australian food is – a parma and a beer?!?
Tony’s Steakhouse: 27 Wellesley Street West, Auckland City
On our search for food, there was a fusion Japanese and Filipino restaurant called Chikos that we really wanted to try, but it was closed for the Christmas period. We definitely have to return to try that and complete the Tongariro Crossing.
There weren’t too many exciting options along the main streets, similar to Swanston St, an almagation of different cuisines. We ended up at Tony’s where we heard we could get a decent steak and seafood.
It wasn’t too different from home but what I did notice is that kumara/sweet potato chips seemed to be a staple menu item in New Zealand.
Auckland Botanic Gardens: 102 Hill Rd, The Gardens, Auckland
We had a few spare hours in Auckland so we decided to visit the Botanic Gardens. It was a nice walk and the gardens had some beautiful colours and roses. Our time in Auckland was very sunny in contrast to our time near Taupo, so we enjoyed the garden in the pleasant sunshine.
Unfortunately I don’t have any photos – we used The Adventouriist’s phone, which recently died!
Paragliding with Wings and Waves Ltd: North Head, Devonport
We were lucky that the weather allowed us to go ahead with our paragliding appointment. We couldn’t find any hang-gliding companies in suitable areas so we went with paragliding with Wings and Waves.
Unfortunately, as it was weather dependent, details were very last minute. Even that morning, they were still trying to determine the best location to meet at and what time.
Eventually we ended up at North Head, Devonport. It was a lovely green reserve that looked over the beach, so we got some great views of Rangitoto volcano in the distance, the ocean and the CBD.
It was pleasant and relaxing but once we started incorporating more swings back and forth, I felt a little motion sick haha!
The hardest part was probably landing and walking back up the hill! We’re glad we ticked that off and fit something adventurous in, even in our last few days.
Finally, that’s a wrap of my New Zealand adventures (almost a year later) but hey – at least I got there eventually!
I hope to revisit in the future and also give the South Island a try.
For now, here’s something fun, a short video recap. It’s not great quality because a lot is from my phone but I hope you enjoy nonetheless!