Stories

New Zealand – First Impression

Sky Tower

Dirty and stinky after two days of traveling, we arrived at the airport in Auckland, New Zealand. Exhausted with no real idea of what to do we made our way to an information center at the airport looking for some guidance. With a big smile on his face, an old, cheery man welcomed us. He was excited to find out we were from San Diego and filled us in on his many adventures while traveling there and had us entertained with his witty stories and thick accent. In the end he directed us to an “I Site”. These handy tourist info centers are spread all throughout the island. We had an idea of what we wanted to do, like rent/buy a van or camper to sleep in and get around with (something very common in NZ).  The girls at the I Site were extremely helpful and recommended that we rent instead of buy a car because we were only staying for a month and it could be tricky to sell if we were short on time. All said and done they hooked us up with a car rental, hostel and bus pass. After leaving the airport we had booked a “micro-camper” (a camper style station wagon) for a month, two nights booked at a nice hostel in Auckland, and maps of the city. Not bad for a first impression!

The city of Auckland is incredible. It is regularly considered one of the top 5 cities to live in the world.  This ocean front, big little city is very clean, cosmopolitan and trendy, but feels local and cozy with modern and colonial architecture. Great food! Nothing is particularly typical but the main flavors around are Asian (Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Indian).  Great coffee with a huge list to choose from; short black, long black, flat white, cappuccino, latte, etc. Dubbed the “city of sails”, Auckland lives up to its name with tons of gorgeous sail boats on the water and in the marina. Adam and I spent some time walking the water front and enjoyed some tasty locally brewed beers.

North island updates coming soon!

Related posts:

Searching for Adrenaline– Waitomo Caves
A taste of Wellington
Abel Tasman National Park, NZ
Hiking the Franz Josef Glacier

Map Location

Comments To This Entry.
  1. danielfee March 18, 2012 Reply

    Pamala,
    You are now in my favorite travel destination in the world. I have made it New Zealand a couple of times and cannot wait to go back. If you didn’t wear yourself out treking in South America, New Zealand has some great walks. Last time I was there I did the coast-to-coast walk in Auckland which is a great way to see the city on foot. It is 16k (10 miles) and takes about 5 to 6 hours depending on how much time you spend at various stops along the way. I hope you will make it down to the South Island also and especially Queenstown and Milford Sound. I look forward to your posts as you make your way around Kiwi land.
    Dan

  2. danielfee March 18, 2012 Reply

    Pamala,
    One more thing. You should definately try blackwater rafting in the Waitomo area. NZ is the only place I have seen this adventure. The company that I wenrt with was the Black-Water Rafting Company. If you would like other suggestions let me know. I have spent a lot of time researching things to do and places to go in NZ and we have done quite a few. But there is always more which is why I have to go back.
    Dan

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