Jennifer Tice's Blog

Day 1 and 2: Auckland

Posted on: September 8, 2009

Auckland Harbour Front

Auckland Harbour Front

Day 1:

We arrive! After almost 19 hours in the air, we finally land at the Auckland aiport at 5:15 am on Sunday Sept 6th (we have skipped Sept 5th entirely because we passed the international date line).

We arrive at the apartment/hotel that we have rented for our first two nights, Quest on Nelson St. I would definitely recommend this place – the rooms are mini-aparments complete with a full kitchen, pots and pans, and in suite laundry and for relatively cheap.  It was great to have some of the comforts of home on the first few days.

We headed out into the city, looking for a coffee shop that would be open at 7am on a Sunday morning.  Esquires coffee has vouchers for free wi-fi which let us send a note home to our family and friends to let them know we had gotten to NZ safely.  We walked along Quay st by the water and decided to take the ferry to Waiheke island for the day.  I would recommend the Fuller’s Explorer tour – for $48 you get the round trip ferry ticket, a 1.5 hour tour of the island, and an all day bus pass as well.

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island

The tour is a great way to see the island which would be hard to navigate on your own – lots of small windy streets.  Views here are spectactular – the island has lots of bays and sandy shoreline.  Wine tours are popular here as well.  We stopped at Gold Water Estate and sampled a few of their wines – only $3 for a tasting of 4 wines.

After we get back to Auckland, we decide to take advantage of our full kitchen and buy some groceries.  Shortly after dinner the time change catches up with us – both of us our lights out by 9 pm.

Day 2:

View from Sky Tower

View from Sky Tower

An early start to the day (since we did hit the hay really early!) at 7:30 am.  Decide to start things off at the Sky Tower – this is a must do in Auckland.  It is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere – even taller than the Eiffel Tower! However, I really think they should judge where the observation deck is  – more of a true measurement of the views you get to see.  Either way – the views are great – you definitly want to do this on a clear sunny day.

Inside Auckland Museum

Inside Auckland Museum

Next,we jump on the Link bus to the Auckland Museum, about a 10 minute bus ride out of the downtown and only $5 entry fee.  (The Explorer Bus tour is over priced for what you get – it is much cheaper to take the city bus and/or walk to places).  You want to budget at least 3 hours for the museum as there is a lot to see – first floor is the Maori/New Zealand culture and history.  Second floor is all about volcanoes, and then the exhibits on Earth, Land and Sea creatures – as well as a few dinosaurs thrown in for good measure! (my personal favourite).  3rd floor is a memory to WWI and WWII and the New Zealanders that contributed to those efforts.  Definitely eat before you head in as there is no food/drink allowed in the museum – we almost didn’t make it through the 3rd floor we were so hungry!

View from Mount Eden

View from Mount Eden

Next we walked from the Museum to Mount Edan – the highest land point in Auckland.  It is about a 30 minute walk from the Museum.  Great views here as well, a must see in Auckland (and its free so hey why not?).  Took a bus back into the city to grab some food for dinner.  A word to the budget conscious – food and drink are much more expensive in Auckland than Canada. Ex.  Starbucks tea (my drink of choice) in Canada – $1.65 in Auckland – $3.10.  Haven’t been able to find coffee or tea anywhere for under $3. We hit up a food court at the mall for a hearty meal under $10pp.

Next – we head out to find free wi-fi – and we hit up the public library, always a good place for free internet.

Tonight – probabaly a low key night again, we might try our luck at the Sky Tower casino to see if we can get any winnings for our trip! Wish us luck!

Stay posted for updates from Roturo and Taupo.

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