Hey, me and sarah spent all day of the 20th of march travelling- we got the bus to melbourne airport, and then our plane was delayed. There was something wrong with our plane- they never said what even though one announcer said the captain would tell us. They had a team of engineers work onit on the runway and then 4 hours later they got us to board. It was a short flight, I watched Twilight on the plane, love that film- saw it at the cinema before, and other than that we just read my lonely planet for NZ that I brought in the airport. Arrived at Auckland late at night, nice view from the plane of the city all lit up.
We got the last airbus of the day from the airport to our hostel, Base central, and spent ages checking in as they'd messed up our reservation and we had to go in separate dorms for the night. I had rung them aswel from melbourne to make sure we were in the same room, and they'd said it was all fine. Next morning I checked out then checked bk in to the room we were both supposed to be in.
Our first day in auckland we went round all the shops- needed some warmer clothes for the south island (the weather here was actually really nice and hot, same as OZ, so lucky with the weather). We also got NZ sim cards for our phones and I got some jeans as they were so cheap here, and a top- prob cost about 20.00, and theyre really good makes. Sarah brought a really nice hoody from Roxy and a really good coat. I didnt find a coat I liked (well I did but it was 150 quid, bit out of budget). Im sure I'l give in and get a coat when I start to freeze lol.
We dropped our shopping bk at Base and went across town to The Domain, big parkland area. This city is ncie and clean and had fab shopping, but not any amazing buildings or anything. The high street looks like it could be anywhere, not very unique. The Domain was really nice, we found the massive museum building there on the hill but it was half 4 so it would shut in half an hour. We went round the enclosed Wintergarden with its old glasshouses. The gardens here were so nice that alot of bridges come to have their pictures taken here- at one point there were 4 different brides walking round! I wouldnt like that. We found loads of orchids here, and plenty of wierd egg plants and chilli plants to look at.
Next we chilled out by one of the ponds, and then walked bk to town via albert park, by auckland university. Saw the unviersity clock tower building, envied the many students sat around the park in the sun (the university buildings looked nice too).
When we got bk it was about 7, and they were giving free pizza at the Globe bar, the bar owned by base around the corner, so we got changed and took our free drinks vouvhers from base, and hung out in there. We had free pizza, free champagne, free wine, and sat with some girls from our dorm (we were in a sanctuary dorm here again, hence the vouchers for free drinks). We ended up being given a voucher for a free pizza from dominoes by the Kiwi bar guy, so we went to dominoes, got a pizza, went to our dorm and ate it all lol (this is after eating free pizza too). Then we went bk down, had another drink and watched their pool matches- each guy had to get all the balls in in the sortest time and the winner got his bar tab paid for. It was fun to watch, and at the end me and sarah played with two guys, Mike and Graham, and got some tips. Theyre doing the kiwi experience but start on a different day to us. Mike was really good fun, hes gay and has the best sense of humour ever. Wish he'd been on our bus!
Me and sarah danced in Globe with Erin, canadian girl from our dorm, and then went clubbing. Went to the waterside club, huge one by the harbour, and then to Carpark, another good one. They play mostly house, but waterside played some rock. Me and sarah looked for a rock club but couldnt find one. They didnt play much RnB either. I kinda missed the clubs at home. It was a very cheap night out though- free to get into the clubs, i only spent 8 pound for the night.
When we got bk it after 3am, and we were supposed to get up at 8 in the morn but sarahs alarm didnt work, so we woke up at 10 when one of the other girls got up. We rushed to get ready and headed for the ferrys (we had meant to go to the museum for the morning then go to the ferrys but we had to skip it). I was pretty hungover but we got there in good time and got a ferry over to Devenport.
Devenport was gorgeous, kindof quaint yet stunning with beaches, dormant volcanoes- green, rounded hills with fab views of the area and back across the sea of the city. We had a ride in the back of a wagon pulled by 3 clydesdale horses, and the guy was brill to talk to, a right character. He joked about ozzies- 'I know why they bury ozzies 20 foot under soil- Its cus theyre nice people deep down'. He pointed the oldest tree there- 170 yrs old, and said the only prob is that its australian! At the end I fussed the horses for a bit while some people tried to pose with them but were terrified lol. I loved being around horses, I miss having my own horse so much.
Me and sarah walked along the coastal path, up and around one of the dormant volcanoes, down the side to cheltenham beach (had fab views of the sea with all the yachts, and the city). We explored the tunnels in the hill that were used for the guns of war, and as barracks and storage. Some of them were pitch black as you walked down them, feeling the walls. And there were some small caves too.
Cheltenham beach was really nice, bit shingley- loads of shells, but still nice to walk on, and fab views of the bright blue/green sea. The whole area seemed so local and had a nice atmosphere- not touristy at all, actually me and sarah didnt see one other backpacker during our whole day, didnt always get that in OZ, more touristy there.
We walked round devenport town- went to the chocolate shop where you can watch them making them, got a couple of choccies and they were divine! Wanted to have loads lol.
We got the ferry from devenport to Waiheke island next, further away this time, and we passed other islands that you can also visit, though Waiheke is the largest and best for national reserves and walking round. Its also the home to many millionaires that you 'rub shoulders with' as the lonely planet said lol. As soon as we got there you could see the mansions on the hills, some were so stunning.
We got straight onto a bus and got a cheap day pass, and saw loads of nice places as we went to Onetangi, a town by the sea, and we spent a while chilling out at the beach, which only had a few other people onit even though it was sunday. We loved this beach, we didnt want to leave! We walked from here and went round a nature reserve that was close by, and our walk turned out to be a bit of a nightmare lol. The paths were overgrown, like it had just been abandoned, and sometimes the path split and there were no signs lol. Other times there were signs but they didnt point in the direction of tha path. For most of the walk we walked up very steep paths, and we came out on some random road in the middle of a millionaires suburb. Lush houses! We had walked for a few hours and were bit knackered, not exactly what you normally do on a hangover day. We wandered round the suburbs for a bit then got bk to the beach. We saw more wildlife outside of the reserve than init lol- saw some cool birds in peoples gardens. We just saw loads of webs in the reserve, good for spiders then!
We got the bus from the beach to Oneroa, another nice town by the beach, and we spent the evening here having a really nice meal (for a tenner! The food here, in the restaurant Vino Vino, was superb). We then went to the bus stop and got the last bus to the ferry, getting to auckland and our hostel for about half 11pm.