After a very comfortable flight from Melbourne to Auckland we organised our shuttle bus to pick us up and collect our car, we only got a little lost driving in to Auckland – which was more to do with Google Maps than it was to do with our navigational skills. We checked in to our accommodation for the next two days, The Mercure Auckland, dropped our bags off and walked up to Sky City to experience the Sky Deck. For $24NZD you can take the elevator to the top of the Sky Tower – the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. With a Speights in hand, our first drink in New Zealand we watched night fall over the city of Auckland on the first night of our trip.
Devonport is a quaint corner opposite Auckland on the North Shore which we decided to visit on Sunday morning after a very quiet Saturday night. After a breakfast bruschetta at the Stone Wood Oven and a few picture opportunities from the North Shore we drove up to the top of Mt. Victoria to take in the view of Auckland from across the water. Mt. Victoria was also a fantastic opportunity to get a look at Rangitoto Island, a volcanic island which erupted and appeared only 600 years ago.
The rains started and we thought it would be best to pick an indoor activity to take up the afternoon; a visit to the Auckland Museum fit the bill. After a one hour guided tour around the museum we had been educated on New Zealand’s involvement in World War I, the arrival of white settlers and the history of the Maori people. The museum itself is quite iconic, having been built as a memorial to the great war shortly after conclusion, the style and layout of the museum is a reference to that era. The idea was that those returning by boat to the New Zealand shore would be able to see the building as they approached the port.
During our time in the museum, Auckland really turned on the waterworks, it was a downpour upon our exit. We were intending to spend a bit of time wandering around the Domain, but it was a complete wash out. We took a look at a couple of the botanical houses none the less before retreating back to the hotel.
Ponsonby made it for me; I wasn’t sold on Auckland until I experienced Ponsonby. Dinner at Prego, an Italian restaurant where we gorged ourselves on pizza bread, duck liver pate with quince paste, linguini marinara and affogato for dessert. After dinner we had a few beers at Chapel on Ponsonby Road, which led to gins at Ponsonby Social Club with some new friends, a mish mash of Australians, Scots and New Zealanders. It felt like the beginnings of a Friday night out back home in Hobart, “don’t you people have jobs to go to tomorrow?” was exclaimed a few times throughout the night as the drinks just kept on flowing. We were made to feel at home, which led to a slow start to the 340km drive ahead of us on Monday morning. Safe to say, it really feels like holidays now.
- Auckland, New Zealand (petitepaulina.wordpress.com)
- Beaches, Boats, Volcanic Cones – See Them All When you Travel to Auckland (flightshotels.wordpress.com)
- Kiwi Cuisine And Wines: Plan Your Foodie Adventure In Auckland (sfist.com)
- My thoughts | the Waka – Queens Wharf – (kevinjamesng.com)
- Goodbye Pon(ce)sonby (crnvn.wordpress.com)