After 5 months in South America I finally boarded a flight to New Zealand – finally back to an English speaking country! I was also meeting my cousin Grace, who had been working there until I got there. This is going to be a pretty lengthy post, so I advise grabbing a cup of tea before you start.
I arrived pretty early on my first day, so rather than waste the day sleeping off my jet lag, we headed to Takapuna beach, for a walk and a milkshake.
Another landmark in New Zealand was definitely Mount Eden, so the next day we decided to take a walk up to the top.
Is was quite a nice walk up to the top, although it was a very cloudy day, so very grey views of the city.
A very long way from home indeed…
After we’d taken in all the views, we headed back down, and enjoyed a red velvet cupcake (my fave) from a local bakery we had been recommended. I’ve definitely had better, but it was a nice treat after our walk!
Next on the agenda was Piha, which is a little town outside of the city of Auckland which has beautiful black sand beaches, and is apparently a great place to surf. After a previously unsuccessful attempt (I forgot my drivers license – oops) we rented a car and headed to Piha – myself, Grace, Ryson and Kasper.
As you can see, once again it was a pretty grey day, but we just rolled with it, and enjoyed the beach as best we could.
In the above picture is Lion Rock, which is named so because it is supposed to look like a lion that is laying down. You could climb up, almost to the top, and get some great views of the beach.
Totally rocking the windswept look….. *cough*
After we were rained off of the beach, we jumped back into the car to have a drive around, and headed for a waterfall we had found on mapsme, “Fairy Falls”
Luckily the rain had cleared up a bit, but didn’t stop me getting absolutely soaked and covered in mud – flip flops were not a wise choice for a walk down to the falls.
Unfortunately when walking back to the car, we took a different route, thinking it wouldn’t matter and ended up walking for ages to get back. Luckily Kiwi’s are super nice and a guy called Peter picked us up and dropped us back at our car, which was actually so much further away than we thought – phew. A lucky end to a successful day in Piha!
We decided to explore some of the islands surrounding Auckland during our stay in the city, with the first stop being Waiheke. We caught the ferry over, and luckily had a really great, sunny day for it – was finally starting to look a bit more like summer!
After about 30 mins we arrived on Waiheke island, and it already looked beautiful just from the water.
We spent most of the afternoon topping up our tans on the beach, before heading to do a walk along the coastline.
As you can see, the views were absolutely amazing.
We walked all along the coastline, and saw all the different beaches along the way.
The last island we wanted to visit before heading to Wellington for Christmas (!!) was Rangitoto, the volcano you can see in the picture from Takapuna.
The main event was the walk to the summit where you could see Auckland city.
The walk to the summit took around 45 mins, where you could see the whole of the city.
The gang at the top of Rangitoto
As you can see I was sporting Grace’s cap, as I could no longer deal with the battle against the burning nose 😦
After a walk around the crater, we headed to the lava caves… which were pretty small and claustrophobic – no thank you.
The boys enjoyed it a lot more than we did… although there was one you could walk all the way through, so that was ok.
Once again a really great day weather wise, and a must do for anyone visiting Auckland!
Our last stop on our list of things to do in Auckland was a trip to the local town Devonport. Once again we caught the ferry over (although this is attached to the mainland, but much quicker to get a ferry), and started our day with a chocolate frappe!
Here we climbed up both Mount Victoria and North Head, two small volcanoes which once again gave some views over Auckland city.
After spending about 2 weeks in Auckland (not including Christmas trip down to Wellington) it was finally time to leave and start travelling around New Zealand – next stop the Bay of Islands.