27th – 29th June 2016
After a six hour flight into Syndey, a four hour layover and then a second three hour flight we were finally in New Zealand!
We had quite a long wait at customs as both me and Daniel had walking boots that needed to be checked and Daniel also had diving equipment and holy water much to the guys amusement checking our bags! Once we were through we jumped on the SkyBus, a 24 hour airport bus service, for $18 (or $16 if you book online) and headed towards Aucklands CBD.
We got off at the first stop which is on Queenstreet and from there it was a 5 minute walk to our hostel ‘Haka Lodge‘. We stayed in a 20 bed dorm for $27 a night and it was really spacious, it didn’t feel like there was 20 of us in there! The hostel had such a homely, cosy feel to it and a really nice kitchen and lounge area, I would really reccomend it. There was also FREE UNLIMITED wifi which is almost unheard of here! The hostel itself was a little further out than places like Base and YHA but it really took no more than 15 minutes to walk in to the centre.
We didn’t arrive until about 7pm on the Monday evening so we literally dumped our bags and went out to look for food. I cannot explain to you all how excited I was to finally be back in western civilisation and to not be eating rice or noodles! We found a little pizza place just down the road called Sal’s Pizza and had a massive slice of pizza for $4 and garlic twists for $3, it was really really really good. After eating we were both so tired so we headed back to the hostel for the evening.
We woke up late Tuesday morning (so lazy I know) had a flick through a lonely planet guide and found a walking tour through Auckland which weirdly started just down the road from our hostel! We set off around 12 and by the time we reached Aotea Square (15 minutes later) we were sidetracked by a Nandos!!
After our Nandos we popped into ‘The Warehouse’ (Thanks Carol for telling us about it!) to get some warm clothes. Daniel then decided he wanted to get his hair cut so we walked all the way back to the start of the walk to a barbers he had seen and I dropped off our shopping at the hostel. Finally we were ready to carry on the walk and we made our way to Albert Park.
Our last stop was the SkyTower and it was incredible! The tower itself is 328 metres tall which makes it the tallest man made structure in the Southern Hemisphere. The main observation deck has glass panels which you can stand on and see straight through to the ground – Daniel loved it but I must admit it did make me feel physically sick so I got Daniel to take the picture as quickly as possible and then I was straight off!
After watching the sunset we headed back to the hostel, stopping at Sal’s pizza again on the way! We packed our bags and went to bed ready for the following morning when we would be jumping on the Kiwi Experience bus to Hot Water Beach!