Auckland: Dust from a distant sun…

Auckland skyline New Zealand

Dust from a distant sun: the Auckland skyline

…will shower over everyone. Well I flew from LAX in the USA to Auckland in New Zealand one day in July 2007. It was an amazing experience. The flight was slightly delayed, I then boarded a Jumbo Jet, yes a Boeing 747!! It was massive. In the airport before that I had met Mary from NZ, who gave me some ideas for the North Island including Hangi Food. A Donegal lady, Emma in my LA hostel had also recommended Zorbing in a place called Rotorua. I had no idea of what I would do in New Zealand. Alive, alone and with inspiration. My life was about to change forever, as it does all the time.
I left the airport at Auckland fuelled by 3 meals, about 10 beers and a desire to explore. The flight was over £300, so the beer and food was free and I milked it. It was New Zealand’s Winter but the sun shone and I barely needed a coat, having experienced much colder Summers in Northern Ireland. The airbus took me straight to the YHA in Auckland, which was off Queen Street and very central. I had been awake for about two days and was still unaware of what time it was due to the timeline and differences etc. so I grabbed a couple of hours catch up kip, before trekking round town. First day in Auckland I just chilled out, visited the harbour, the nearby streets and bars and found Groovy Music to be an excellent CD shop. I bought the latest Crowded House album, Time on Earth in there. I then sorted out my plans for the next 10 or so days, by booking my buses and hostels. After a few more beers and meeting an American and a New Zealander in the hostel, I called an early night to get ready for the next day.
I woke up at 8am, and by 11am had jumped off Auckland Harbour Bridge with just a bungy rope. I got some photos and a DVD of it, but looking back I was still rather tired. I really enjoyed the cool bungy jump, but perhaps I’ll do one again when I’m fresher. I was the only one on my bus of 20 to say I’d do the jump, then when I came back up, 3 more girls were like “Aw we’ll do it as well!”. So four of us, all from the Emerald Isle did it that day. The rest of the day we visited the market and the Devenport area with some amazing coastline and scenery. I didnt venture as far as Bay of Islands, but on a short trip, I bunged a hell of a lot in. I also did some NZ fish and chips, 2 more pubs and then a free bar at Base Nightclub and a live acoustic gig at Brooklyn Bar (featuring one of the contestant’s from New Zealand’s equivalent of Pop Idol), where I also met Maori’s for the first time.
I met loads of nice English people during my time in New Zealand, and on my final night, Ali and Andy joined me in Brooklyn Bar for my final drinks in New Zealand. Another English guy who I met, Ash was off to Fiji next and we got the same bus to the airport. Although Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, it is not the capital, and there are much more beautiful places to explore in New Zealand. I will definitely have to go back, and possibly do the whole South Island as well.

After my first few days in Auckland, I was off on an exciting coach trip to Beautiful Rotorua…

Bars Visited – The Queen’s Head, The Devenport Pub, Fox’s, First Base Traveller’s Bar, Brooklyn Bar and Grill.

Beers Tried – Tui, Lion Red, Monteith’s, Steinlager, Monteith’s Radler.

Transport Used – Aeroplane, Bus, Coach, Lift.

Nationalities Met – Iranian, French, New Zealander, German, American, English, Austrian, Australian, South Korean, Japanese, Republic of Irish, English, Scottish.

Currencies Used – New Zealand Dollars and Cents.

Where I stayed – Youth Hostelling International, Queen Street, Auckland.

Average Price of a Pint of Beer – 5 Dollars.

Favourite Food – NZ Fish and Chips – lovely.

Favourite Drink – Tea.

Favourite Thing about Auckland – Bungy jumping off Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Moving Moment – Late at night at the top of Auckland’s Sky Tower, thinking “I’ve just been up the highest building in Canada, USA and NZ in the space of 21 days.”

Key Song – Crowded House – Don’t Stop Now.

FACT – Auckland’s Sky Tower is the highest building in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
MY BUNGY JUMP OFF AUCKLAND HARBOUR BRIDGE:

COVER VERSION OF THE KILLERS – READ MY MIND IN BROOKLYN BAR:

TOP OF AUCKLAND SKY TOWER:
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