My time here so far
It’s hard to believe that on Friday (or Thursday depending on where in the world you’re reading this) will mark two weeks since I have arrived in New Zealand. My first
two weeks 12 days have been spent in Auckland. For those of you that don’t know, Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand. I used these two weeks to get settled. I got a NZ phone number, a NZ bank account, and a NZ tax number.
Auckland gets a bad rap, let me tell you. Before coming to New Zealand everyone told me I don’t need to spend any amount of time in Auckland, as it’s just another big city. While it is a big city, it is a city that has so much to offer. I will touch on this further along in this post.
My first two days here were hard. I was alone at an Airbnb and I was going through so many changes all at once. It really had me questioning if I had made the right choice to do this, after only two days.
After two days at an Airbnb I checked in to Haka Lodge. My first couple of days here were still spent on my own, but just being around likeminded people helped ease my mind, and I instantly felt more comfortable being here.
A couple days later I met a fellow Canadian, Alia, and we started doing everything together. As much as I was enjoying the time on my own, it was really nice to have someone else to do things with, and keep you company. You can only spend so much time on your own.
Alia left me on Friday (I’ll be seeing her again in a couple of weeks for Christmas), but that’s when I met Lily, who is from the UK. Lily and I spent a few days together before she left for the next leg of her trip, but I am meeting up with her later this week in the Bay of Islands.
A major city filled with so much culture and diversity, but it also has short hikes, and amazing views just a few minutes outside of the downtown area. If you have access to a car you can see even more beauty just a half hour drive outside of the city.
Here is a round up of what I have done in Auckland during the last 12 days.
Mission Bay gave me major Cali vibes. A beach town with a Main Street lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, and cute little shops.
Can you go to a major city and not visit their iconic tower? This was definitely a very touristy thing to do, but it had to be done. Admission is $29, if you pay an extra $4 you can go back again within a 24 hour time frame. This is a great option if you want to go back at sunset.
The elevator takes you to the 53rd floor, but once you are on the 23rd floor there is another elevator that takes you up to the 61st floor.
I’ve had LOTS of New Zealand coffee since I have been here. I don’t know what it is, but the coffee over here is amazing. Some might say next level.
Swimming in Viaduct Harbour
I don’t know if this is common, because coming from Halifax, we don’t swim in our Harbour. But you can swim in the Harbour here. Right in downtown Auckland, with the Sky Tower in the background. I feel like most locals here don’t find it hot enough to swim in yet, but as a Canadian, I couldn’t wait to jump in!
These views!!! The top of Mt. Eden was exactly a 45 minute walk from the front of my Hostel. It was so beautiful and it’s a place I tend to visit again when I come back to Auckland.
First of all the name alone, makes this a must visit if you were a fan of the show One Tree Hill. Alia and I took a bus from our Hostel to the bottom of One Tree Hill, and then we ventured on a half hour walk to the top. Along the way you will come across so many sheep! We spent a good 15 minutes just hanging out with the sheep before even walking to the top.
One Tree Hill offers more 365 degree views of the beautiful city of Auckland.
Ponsonby is hands down my favourite neighbourhood (that I’ve been to so far) in Auckland. It is so chic, and hip. It’s lined with boutiques and fun bars and restaurants.
If I end up living in Auckland at all during my year here this is where I would want to live.
First of all let me say that Farmers is a department store here, it wasn’t a Santa Parade full of farmers.
Now that we’ve cleared that up.
It’s so strange to me being somewhere that is about to be summer, but is also about to be Christmas. Coming from Canada it’s such a weird concept to me.
I’m glad I was in town for the parade, it made it feel a bit more like Christmas time, except for the fact that I was wearing shorts and a tank top and dying in the heat.
Takapuna was a quick 15 minute drive from downtown Auckland and it was well worth it to spend the day on the beach. Minus the sun burn I got here.
The sun in New Zealand has no ozone layer so it is extremely hot here. Like I can’t even explain it. It’s been 20-23 degrees since I have been here and it feels so much hotter.
Okay… this was a bit of a splurge but it was oh so worth it.
I took a day trip to Waiheke Island for a day of wine tasting. Waiheke Island is home to 30 beautiful vineyards, olive groves and beaches, all just a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland.
I visited Peacock Sky, Stonyridge, Kennedy Point and I had lunch at Mudbrick.
If you’re looking to do this as a tour I did mine through Ananda Tours and it was wonderful, I highly recommend them.
Other Auckland things
Tart – Is a vegan bakery and they have the BEST donuts I’ve ever had!
Classic Comedy & Bar– I went on a Monday night because that’s their cheap night. $5 cover. However Mondays nights are for newcomers, therefore the comedy wasn’t the greatest, but it was still and entertaining night out with friends from the Hostel.
Spark Arena – Only I would go to two stadium concerts while in New Zealand. BUT I saw Shawn Mendes and The Weeknd, so it was well worth it if you ask me.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my first couple of weeks in New Zealand. I’m now off to the Bay of Islands. I’m looking forward to some hiking and laying low on the beaches.