In April we traveled to Auckland for a week from 7th of April to 14th of April as Angela was attending OnStage for Stampin’ Up! at Auckland’s Sky Tower Convention Centre. We thought we’d add a few extra days on and make it a 7-day trip.
While we were there we spent the first three days as tourists looking around the sights.
Day 01 - Arriving in Auckland
We arrived in Auckland about 5:30pm on Sunday night, collected our baggage from the carousel and went and did the immigration thing.
We then looked for a ride to the city and came across a shuttle service that took us straight to our door for $35 which was excellent, given a taxi was around $65 and the Skybus was $40.
Once we arrived at our accommodation, we took our luggage upstairs then went back outside and found a beautiful little Vietnamese restaurant right next door – not more than 40 metres from where we staying.
After dinner we went back upstairs, unpacked our clothes and went to bed.
Day 02 - Waiheke Island
We left Tantalus Estate and got off the bus so we could walk down to the Cascades Waterfall. It was described to us as a ‘trickle’ but it was a lovely walk through some New Zealand bush.
Day 03 - Harbour Cruise
Today we walked down to the waterfront again and did a harbour cruise around the bay. It was a 90 minute scenic cruise that went out around the harbour and came back again into Auckland.
It wasn’t really worth the $50 (each) asking price but did come with a complimentary morning tea – that you only got if you asked for it.
In the afternoon we walked around Auckland Central some more had a good look at the CBD. We found a really nice Belgian Beer house where we stopped in and had a cherry beer. We then walked to Albert Park where we had a good look around the park and down to the Art Gallery.
We came home for a pit stop and then went back to the Belgian Beer house for dinner where we both had fush and chups for dinner.
Oh, and another cherry beer.
Day 04 - Rangitoto Island
The island was created from an old volcano and is made entirely of lava from the volcano. It is quite surreal to look at – really barren landscapes, lots of vegetation, no animals and only one road that basically goes around in a big loop.
We took a tour up to the top of the Volcano which enabled us to see down into the crater.
It really was one of the most amazing things I’ve seen and quite a harsh environment for anything that may have lived there.
The road on the island was apparently built by inmates from Auckland prison who spent some of their sentence building the road – by hand with no machinery. For instance if they had a 12-month sentence they may have spent three months on the island. Statistically, once they were let out of prison, 80% of them never went back to prison because they’d done it pretty hard and didn’t want to repeat it.
To see what they’ve constructed with their bare hands was quite amazing.
After we got off the ferry back at the Auckland Waterfront, we were a little hungry and went straight to our favourite Belgian Beer house and had another cherry beer before picking up a pizza and heading for home.
Day 05 - Sky Tower Jump
Today was the first rainy day we’ve had since we’ve been here as we’ve been blessed with blue skies and really nice mild days.
Today was a little overcast and quite drizzly this morning. Angela decided early on that she wanted to jump off the Sky Tower, so we got on the internet and found some tickets and then wandered up for her 10:30 booking.
Once there, she was strapped into all the gear and taken up to the top of the tower and I was taken out to the landing platform so I could watch her come down. It looked like it was quite awesome but being afraid of heights, I was never going to take part.
Waiting to jump
The Jump (from below)
The Jump (Official)
The Jump (GoPro)
We then went into the convention centre where Angela caught up with a few of her Stampin’ Up! friends and picked up her bag and bits and pieces that she would need for the official opening this afternoon.
I spent the afternoon at home until it finished raining, then went out for another bit of a wander around Auckland CBD.
I went back to the little Vietnamese restaurant for a cheap and cheerful dinner, then went and picked Ange up after her dinner with the Stampin Up crowd.
We walked home and retired for the night.
Day 06 - Viaduct Basin
Angela left for Stampin’ Up! OnStage early this morning so I was left to my own devices. I packed up my stuff and went for a wander down into the CBD then ended up at the Viaduct Harbour, down on the waterfront, where I went and had a look through the Maritime Museum.
Unfortunately no photos were allowed to be taken inside the museum but it was great to see the Maritime history of New Zealand.
I then wandered down along the waterfront and ended back up in the CBD where I had some lunch.
After lunch I did some more wandering around and called into an Irish pub opposite the Convention Centre to wait for Angela to finish. She finished around 4:15 so we had a drink at Andy’s Burgers and Bar, then watched a few blokes being flung into the sky after a few schooners – they were in the pub where I had my beer.
We wandered home to drop off all her stuff, then went down to the little Vietnamese for another beautiful dinner.
Day 07 - More Auckland (plus Sling Shot)
Today I did some more wandering around but headed in the opposite direction.
I wandered up past the Town Hall and ended up at Myers Park. Through the park and up a long flight of stairs was what looked like the hipster section of town. I looked around there for a while and then strolled back down into town and had some lunch.
The Sky Screamer Slingshot
I picked up Angela later that afternoon and we finished the day with a ride on the slingshot!