Largest town in NZ yet, so small!

My list of countries never really included New Zealand. Perhaps because it was far away from the states or none of my friends ever talked about it. I decided to stay a week in Auckland, New Zealand because it was close to Australia.

Auckland is the largest metropolitan city in New Zealand. The city itself is actually built on top of a volcanic field which is active; however, out of the 48 volcanos, those are extinct. The natives are Maori and they comprise about 11% in Auckland.

The flight is actually longer than I thought it was from Australia to New Zealand. It’s about 3 1/2 hours.

Flying with AA into Honolulu's Airport

My flight to New Zealand and Australia were based on 45k air miles. Not too shabby; however, it took me forever to get to Auckland. I flew from LAX to Honolulu for about 6 hours and had an overnight layover. Can’t complain when it’s Hawaii and I have a friend to hang with.

Cecilia and I

I didn’t do much but went to Cross Fit Oahu and hung out with my buddy Cecilia and her friends. Our goal was to stay up until 5am and hiked up a mountain to see the sunrise. Yah that never ended up happening but when I got to the airport, they said my bag will most likely not make it to New Zealand. I was an hour early too. I should’ve known better and gotten there 2 hours early due to it being an international flight.

IMG_8761

My second flight was from Honolulu to Sydney for 10 1/2 hours. I haven’t flown that much but this flight had iPads for each individual to use during the flight for about $18 AUS. That’s not bad but dude, have some snacks or water. Never been on a long flight that didn’t provide water!

Another layover and a day ahead of LA time, I head on a 3 hour flight to Auckland. Best short flight ever! Delicious meal with a small bottle of wine and at the end a mango ice cream bar all complimentary!

Downside, my bags didn’t make it that night.

The next morning, I was hoping my bags would come in. The airline said they couldn’t locate it. What to do in the meanwhile? Went to the grocery store and got straight to the kitchen before every one hogged the stove, microwave, etc.

The prices here are ridiculous for fruit or just about anything! I believe it has to do with the importing of goods.

The hostel I was staying at is one of the cleanest and friendliest hostel ever. Ponsonby Backpackers is tucked in a hippy neighborhood full of restaurants and bars and a gorgeous scenery. The homes reminded me of beach cottages with a mixture of victorian and western. The cafe shops have cute backyard patio for you to relax, read a book, and enjoy a cup of coffee.

Ponsonby Road.

Sierra's Cafe

Ponsonby Backpackers

My bag finally arrives and the odd thing, I find my water shoes and hiking boots watered down. I believed TSA was washing off the soil so I don’t bring it to their country. Thankfully they didn’t just take it.

After waiting around for pretty much the entire day, I went to drop by Cross Fit Quattro. Dave, the owner, had let me go to his gym for a week! Thanks again!

Cross Fit Quattro

As a solo traveller, you pretty much have to put yourself out there. Well, this is my first time traveling on my own and I met some awesome people. Rowena (AUS) Jake and Payden (UK). We all had gone out into the hipster neighborhood that night and saw what Ponsonby road had to offer us.

From L to R, Payden, Rowena, and Jake

The next morning, we had planned on going to the Sky Tower together but I decided that I wanted to go Waiheke Island. You can see my other post for this but basically clothes is optional on Onetangi Beach.

The next day, was the first day of Chinese New Years. Payden and I had gone to the Auckland War Museum for some festivities. The walk through the park is beautiful. If you get a chance, walk around and explore what nature has to offer. We had missed the dragon dance and there wasn’t much else to do. So we met up with Jake to find the best Asian food out there. We had spent too much time looking for it that Payden had to go to the airport and Jake and I ended up exploring downtown and the harbor. At this point, I was missing home and the comfort of my mom’s home cooked meals.

People sunbathing

Afterwards, we had hiked up Mt. Eden.

Mt. Eden

Skytower in the background

Basically walked around town from 12-7p. There wasn’t much to see since it was Sunday and a lot shops/markets were closed.

The next morning after getting free wi-fi at the library, Jake, Will (UK), and I head to Mission Bay. The picture below is of me in front of the Volcanic Island of Rangitoto. I didn’t do much but got a tan and worked out at Cross Fot Quattro and packed for my next adventure to Waitomo. I’ll blog about this in a different post.

Rangitoto/Mission Bay

Overall, my time in New Zealand was okay. I only say okay because traveling from South America being able to do so much, eat tons, and go on a lot of adventures at a low price was hard to let go when coming to this expensive country.

In addition, I had wanted to go to the South island but wanted to save my money for Australia.

Random Facts/Sights:

The outlets here have switches next to them. So when you plug your wire, you must click the on button to turn on the outlet. Quite strange but probabky energy effective.

The pedestrian crossings only lets you go when no cars are going in any direction. Kind of strange when I’m use to having cars go in the same direction as me.

Driver is on your right side not left.

You drive on the left lane different from the US.

Lord of the Rings was filmed here and you can check out the hobbit homes.

There are about 9 sheep to 1 person!

Slang term for New Zealander is a Kiwi. They call the fruit, “kiwifruit” or Chinese gooseberries.

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