DAY 1 – Tuesday 30th October
I arrived in New Zealand after an overnight flight from Melbourne (having flown down to there from Darwin) at around 5am with only about an hours sleep, so needless to say I was incredibly tired. I hopped on the SkyBus and went into town, stopping at a Starbucks for a toastie and a hot chocolate as it was only around 7am and you aren’t really meant to check in at the hostel until around 2pm. Obviously I don’t play by the rules and my need for sleep came first – how am I meant to enjoy exploring the city if I’m too tired to see straight? – so I went over anyway and tried my luck. Thankfully the guy at reception took pity on me and let me check in at 8am, and he even let me have $4 in change rather than the $3 that I was owed.
After having a long nap to try and catch up on the whole night of sleep that I’ve missed, I went out for a trip to the supermarket and an explore, but the rain got so heavy I went back to the hostel after grabbing some lunch. Going from 35-40 degrees and sun every day in Western Australia to 14 degrees and rain is a bit of a shock. I went back out after eating for a quick walk to get my bearings but it was still freezing cold and I was still incredibly tired so I went back after about an hour. It wasn’t a particularly eventful first day in New Zealand but I look like an extra from the Walking Dead because of how tired I am so I feel like I wasn’t going to achieve much anyway.
DAY 2 – Wednesday 31 October
I woke up quite late this morning and then started walking over to Mount Eden. Even though I knew it was only 4kms, it felt about 10 because of all the steep hills and Auckland’s weird road system. The view was worth it though – you can see all the way across the CBD and over to the other side of the bay. I hung around at the summit of the volcano for a little bit and had a sunbathe (which I now have burnt arms from…) before heading back down through the domain and down into the Newmarket suburb. There wasn’t really much to see round there, mainly roadworks, so I went into the Auckland Domain and read my book for a while. A few chapters later I went to check out Albert Park before going back to the hostel to charge my phone for a bit and have some lunch.
An hour or so later, I went to a department store to pick up some new headphones (my new-ish Apple ones have broken yet again after only 3 months) and then I walked down to the harbour and viaduct basin. My plan was to visit Silo Park where I was told was loads of stuff to have a look at and market stalls and food trucks. I got there and for the life of me I couldn’t find a single thing. Nada. I don’t know where it was meant to be, but I was in the right place according to Google Maps. Instead I went to Velvet Burger and then headed back to the hostel. The hostel isn’t great if I’m honest – my room is right next to the bar so I’m kept awake all night and the people aren’t very friendly so I haven’t really met anyone yet. I’m excited to get going on Saturday.
DAY 3 – Thursday 1 November
It was a wet and rainy Thursday morning when I set off for Waiheke Island. I ventured over to the ferry through torrential rain and made the journey across the bay to the island. Waiheke is famous for its many wineries, but today my activity would be zip lining. I hopped off the ferry, was collected by the company – along with my companions who would be taking to the zip line with me that day, a retired couple from Maine – and we drove across the island to the centre. There were three zip lines in total, each one getting progressively steeper. The first one was over the small vineyard they had there, but it was so rainy and windy it hurt my face to look down at it. The second one was over the canopy of the forest, but it wasn’t too far above the trees, and the third was again over the canopy, but about 100m off the ground. Typically the rain started to clear up just as we were making our way back up through the forest.
From there I went back to the city where it was still raining heavily, so I decided that I would go to the cinema to see Bohemian Rhapsody, which was so good I actually saw it again the next day…
DAY 4 – Friday 2 November
By Friday I was pretty bored of Auckland; it was nice but very small and there really wasn’t that much to do. I walked a few kilometres down to Point Erin Park, and then circled back to Victoria Park where I read my book for a while. I had some washing to do, so I spent a few hours doing that before attempting to FaceTime my friend Steph in Sydney. By this time it was early evening and I was bored. The cinema didn’t have many options, so Bohemian Rhapsody again it was. It’s probably my film of the year – it’s funny in the right places, sad in others and balances great cinematography with a fantastic cast.