Auckland, New Zealand: For the second time in my life, I made it to the other side of the world! The frenzy of finally arriving at the so long dreamed of destination was at its highest. Forgotten were the never-ending waitings sessions in transit, the bullying airport staff, the 32 hour journey… and forgotten on a bench in front of Auckland International Airport was also my briefcase containing all my travel documents. Eeeeek!
I think it’s not worth mentioning what state I was in when I noticed my passport and money had gone missing. In short, 3 hours later, my briefcase ended safe and sound in my trembling hands as I intensely hugged the puzzled lady of the lost and found section. Never underestimate the kindness of kiwis!
So after this little episode, we were finally all set for visiting sunny Auckland while battling a severe case of jet lag.
Central Business District or city centre (on the map)
Hotel Crown Plaza we simply decided to get a reservation at the Crown Plaza given that we hadn’t had a good night’s sleep for two days now. The Hotel was pleasant (although the room had a bit of an oldish decoration), breakfast was huge and the staff was nice (just as every person we met in New Zealand). The bed was king-size and heavenly comfy, so it really was a shame that we arrived in the morning and had to stay awake for another 12 hours!
Auckland art gallery – Toi o Tāmaki (on the map)
It’s not a huge gallery but it is greatly situated below the hilltop of Albert Park. I personally think that the best artwork is the NZ art corner with Maori art pieces.
Viaduct Harbour (on the map)
This vibrant neighbourhood is bustling with good humoured tourists and kiwis visiting the numerous eateries and bars.
Although the choice of restaurants and bars serving snacks is wide, try to find the fish market (a white building opposite the waterfront). Go round the building where you’ll find the Seafood Central hidden in a cute inner courtyard. The wine’s great, the food is fantastic and the setting matches them both perfectly. (I’m still drooling when thinking about their ceviche!)
In one of the cafés in Viaduct Harbour I also came across something extremely delicious: The Gingerella! It is a kiwi made, organic “gingery” ginger ale, sweet, but somehow hot as hell! You should definitely try it!
Ponsonby (on the map)
Ponsonby is quite a fashionable inner suburb of Auckland. Hype cafés and whimsical shops are to be found between colonial style and brick houses. This emanates into an original blend, a trendy –chic atmosphere, where you’ll immediately feel at ease.
In Auckland, I will not recommend you a place to dine, because we never made it to the restaurant. We emptied the bottle of champagne waiting for us in the hotel room and – as it is commonly known: alcoholic drinks don’t mix too well with jet lag – fell into a deep deeeeeep slumber stretching across our heavenly snug king-size bed.
Stay tune for upcoming posts about New Zealand.