Friday, September 7, 2018

Auckland, New Zealand Recap - June 2017

Well, over a year later I am finally getting to these posts. I don't know what took me so long, I just kind of fizzled out on life there for a hot minute. I really share these kinds of posts so I can look back on them, and when I am travelling somewhere new blogs are where I go for information, so you know. But ultimately they are for me. Unfortunately with being well over a year later, my memory is more than a little fuzzy, but I'll do my best.

I've wanted to go to New Zealand for a long time, but I always put it off because it was right there and so cheap, I could go anytime I wanted! Best to knock out those big trips first, like England and America.. oh wait, let's move to America and get married and now New Zealand is not as close as it used to be. Womp. Luckily for me, KC also wanted to go after I appealed to his LOTR love. I'm sure I've mentioned it before but KC and I are both LOTR fans, before we even met. I have an Elvish tattoo on my neck for pete's sake. So, hindsight is 20/20 and all that, I'm glad I never ended up going to NZ on my own because it was obviously a ton of fun to go with KC.

Also, it was a great idea to have a week or so to ourselves before we went to Australia to be with my family. Australia is great and all, but when you are going home or visiting family, it's not always the holiday you're envisioning, you know?

But lets get to Auckland. Wait, first, obligatory we're off! selfies and other plane pictures. I'm pretty sure these were all very early on because the ones closer to NZ are very not cute and not going on the internet.

Okay, we stayed at the Pullman and loved it. Great location, well priced, friendly staff, clean, what more could you want, nothing I say, nothing. Oh. Fluffy robes.

If I remember correctly, we arrived fairly early in the morning and I planned a whale & dolphin watching thing at around noon. I did this on purpose so that we wouldn't succumb to 'just a quick nap won't hurt us'. 

We walked down to Viaduct Harbour, walked around, got some fish n chips (naturally - by the way, if you're in Auckland, much recommend this place) and then went off to join the 'safari'. 

As for the whale & dolphin watching safari, we went with this company, and I'm not saying I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it either. We saw some dolphins and whales, not super up close but it was still absolutely amazing and well worth it for that. I just didn't love the company. But they are the most popular, so perhaps we were just tired and crabby. I didn't get great photos of the whales and dolphins because I prefer to actually take those things in at the time, get as many memories as I can and maybe snap a few photos towards the end - because they never photograph well anyway.

After that.... I don't remember. I am 99% sure we got something to eat, somewhere, and then went back to the hotel room and crashed at like 7pm. It was glorious.

The next day we went to Hobbiton, but that's getting its own post because of the aforementioned love for LOTR. 

So we'll skip straight to the next day, where we went to Waiheke Island. There are a bunch of tours, or you can do it on your own, we decided to do a tour because I am not ashamed of my love for tours when on holiday. We went with this company and they were amazing. We caught the ferry over on our own, then joined up with them. 

We went to three wineries, drove around the island and had some 'free time' where we stopped at a coffee shop for KC. I don't remember what else we did that day, nothing by the looks of it from my photos. I remember it rained a bit, so we probably just got something to eat and had another early night.

And after that, we went to Queenstown! Auckland was a great first city on our trip kind of place. Things to do, but also relaxing. I'm not sure if I'd ever go back, not that it wasn't awesome, but it is so far away from where we live now, so it's really only when we are going to Australia that it makes sense, and if (or when!) we go home again, I might try and see more of Oz. Or Thailand. Who knows.

So, are you a 'go on all the tours' kind of person, or do it yourself? I'd say I'm a mix of both, but definitely lean towards tours. I love to plan and organise before a trip, but when I'm there, I don't want to do a thing. This means KC takes over all the timelines and getting us to places, but follows the plan I put in place before we left haha.

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