Hey everyone, I’m writing to you on the bus from Auckland to Rotorua. My first few days in New Zealand have been great! After having a 2 hour delay on my flight over from Sydney, I arrived in Auckland in the evening and decided to just get some food and plan out activities for my time there. The first full day I had in Auckland I decided to take a day trip to Rangitoto Island. So, I hopped on the ferry and 25mins later I was there.
Rangitoto island is essentially a volcano that hasn’t erupted in around 500 years. I ended up hiking up to the summit with a few other backpackers I met getting on to the ferry. It was really cool to walk up the paths of volcanic rock where just a few hundred years ago there had been running lava. The views from the top were really quite beautiful (see photos below). Because we were constrained by the time of the last ferry, we only had enough time to hike to the top, walk around the crater and walk through some lava caves, which were super dark but really awesome.
After I got back to the city from Rangitoto Island I took the bus back to my hostel which was in a suburb called Mt. Eden. Since my time was short in Auckland, I decided to walk up Mt. Eden when I got off the bus. And I am so glad that I did. The walk up to the top was only about 10-15mins and once up there, there’s a crater and 360 degree views of the city that were spectacular.
Now normally I wouldn’t go into too much detail about food since New Zealand cuisine isn’t super different from American cuisine, but that night I went to dinner with some girls from my hostel and we had Indian food. Now if you know me at all, you know that I’ve never really been a huge fan of Indian food so this is a big deal. After having to get them remake a dish without using any cilantro or coriander powder in it (in case you dorm know I have that gene where cilantro/coriander tastes like soap), I finally got my chicken korma and actually really enjoyed it! Here’s to trying new things!
The next day I decided to take a free 2.5 hour walking tour of the city of Auckland. The tour guide was super enthusiastic and really knowledgable about NZ’s history and the city itself. I think one of the most interesting things I learned on the tour was that women had the right to vote as early as 1893 in NZ! Below are a few highlights from the tour.
After my walking tour I hopped on the ferry to Waiheke island for a wine tour. Upon arrival to Waiheke and while driving around it felt as though I was back in Hawaii. While the views on the island were extremely beautiful, one of the best parts was definitely the wine. We went to three different vineyards, Kennedy point, Passage rock and Thomas’s Bach. All three were in beautiful locations on the island and had some really delicious wine. I only wish I wasn’t backpacking here so I could bring some back to the states with me.