Kia Ora! Introduction to New Zealand
New Zealand! Part 1 of our adventure has ended (Australia) and we’re embarking on Part 2 in NZ – starting in the North Island’s hub of Auckland. We only spent 3 days in the cosmopolitan center and we explored a fair amount, despite the torrential weather.
Our Airbnb was just a few blocks walk from Ponsonby Road, a sort of epicenter of the young and hip. The road stretches at least a dozen blocks, full of cafes, bars, restaurants, shopping, some vintage shops. Similar feeling to Surry Hills of Sydney. Cafe Cezanne (above) was a delightful breakfast spot, as well as Fusion and Dear Jervois. Also, The Ponsonby Centre is a must-stop for the area; an enclosed food market with everything from wine bars to ramen shops and pizzerias. Adorable decoration and an open-air lane with seating in the back.
We’ve become quite the coffee addicts over this trip. Morning coffee has always been my daily ritual, but an afternoon cup is essentially mandatory by now as well. We discovered the option of ordering coffee in a “bowl.” I thought it was slang for “mug” when the first barista kindly gave me the option of “glass or bowl?” … Nope, it’s a real bowl! That’s a regular size latte mug on the right. Undoubtedly, we always choose “bowl” from now on 🙂
The weather for our three-day stint in Auckland was honestly quite terrible. The winds reached up to 30 mph, probably higher in the night. It was only lightly sprinkling for the majority of the time, but the heavy winds made it so much worse. The floral photo above was significant because it was the first time we saw blue sky since we had landed in Auckland, on our third day. We had considered going atop the Sky Tower (the unmistakeable icon, seen in first photo), to grab a drink at the restaurant on the top with beautiful views! A wonderful idea until you take into account the weather… It’s quite expensive and we second guessed if it would be worth it without the horizon to lookout.
Beyond Ponsonby, we strolled down Karangahape Road (K’ Road) – the higher blocks are quite seedy with numerous adult shops or strip clubs, but continue walking and you’ll hit a variety of second-hand stores, book shops, handmade goods, etc. Downtown’s main street in Queen Street topped high with sky scrapers and plenty to see. The Auckland Art Gallery is notable for leaning about Mauori culture and New Zealand art.