Auckland was a nice introduction to New Zealand, but cities are definitely not the reason why I flew so many hours to the other side of the world.
We arrived in Auckland from Sydney with Qantas after a little fear at the airport when our initial Qantas flight (operated by LatAm) was overbooked and we were asked to take off the tags of our luggage and go complain at the Customer service. Thanksfully, there was a flight about one hour later.
What to do in Auckland?
- Free tour: I love doing free tours as a first introduction to the city and Auckland Free Walking Tours was a pretty good one! We started in Queens Wharf Village, heading to Fort lane (a red light district before, but now a pedestrian street with trendy bars and restaurants), Albert Park, walking around the University to end up in Emily Place Reserve.
- Mount Eden is the highest of the 50+ volcanoes all around Auckland. Easy to go there: we hopped on the 27H from Britomart. Super nice view fom up there, but quite windy. You can walk all around the mount, it’s a very chill and easy walk.
- Coast to Coast walkway: On the way down from Mount Eden, we noticed that the path was part of the Coast to Coast walkway (full walk is from Onehunga to Waitematā to Manukau) which I had originally bookmarked. We walkedfrom Mount Eden to Auckland Domain passing through some quite wealthy neighbourhoods (or a least that seem like they are!). Auckland Domain has several places to visit: the Auckland Museum (we arrived too late to vist unfortunately) as well as the wintergarden with its nice tropical house, and different walks (Centennial Walkway, Lovers Walk)
Sleep in Auckland
We spent 2 nights in a dorm at the Queen Street Backpackers. All hostels, even in dorms, were unfortunately quite expensive and not super attractive. The location of this one was perfect but the dorm didn’t have any window, the kitchen was pretty dirty. Everything was pretty basic. I’m not sure I would actually recommend it, unless you are on a tight budget.
Eat in Auckland
To be honest, we mainly cooked in the hostel but I still have 2 original places to recommend:
- Giapo: an icecream place with a free tasting of all tastes available and crazy design – yummy!
- Brothers Beer City Works Depot: an orignal place in an old factory with a big choice of beers (including local ones!)
What we didn’t do:
- Sky tower: we skipped that one because the weather was not very nice, but I guess many of you would also be interested! The price is 29$ (January 2020) but you can invest much more especially if you are into skydiving!
- Tour of islands: if the weather had been better, we had also considered a boat trip to Rangitoto or Waiheke islands
- Going North of Auckland: we only had 2 weeks to spend in New Zealand so we decided to focus on long walks and places that cannot be seen anywhere else rather than beaches. But I’m sure I will go to the Bay of islands and Piha.