My first stop in New Zealand was the City of Auckland for a couple of days. After some uneventful problems with getting bumped off my flight from Sydney to Auckland due to not having onward travel ticket (noob mistake), having my luggage left in Sydney, and being locked out of my hostel at 11 at night I was ready to see what Auckland had to offer for a backpacker on a budget.
Auckland has around 1.4 million people which is about 32% of the entire countries population of 4.4 million. Auckland itself is very spread out over a large area that has some of the most spectacular topography in the world for a city. Three harbors, two mountain ranges, 48 volcanic cones, countless fjords and more than 50 islands makes for plenty of stuff do and see.
My first full day in Auckland I basically roamed the city by foot. Strolled down Queen Street stopping at an asian food court to treat my taste buds, dreamed about owning a sailboat while walking through the harbor and visited some of the many parks around Auckland. That night my local watering hole became a pub named Father Ted’s. (Named after a very popular Irish/British sitcom). Highly recommend the Father Ted’s Draught!
The second day and last day in Auckland I decided to hit up some of the museums and touristy spots. First was the Auckland War memorial museum (free/donation) which is located in the Auckland domain park which has some lovely gardens to stroll through as you head towards your destination. Don’t let the name deceive you the museum does have a large military exhibit but also contains a large collection of Maori and Pacific Island artifacts, photographic collection of 1.2 million images, and exhibits containing 1.5 million natural history specimens from the fields of botany, entomology, geology, land vertebrae and marine biology. The place is like a mini Smithsonian.
After hiking my way back down from Mt Eden I made my way to the Auckland Art Museum (free/donation) which houses many different types of art from abstract to contemporary and even some you can be a part of.
To end my last day in Auckland and in the spirit of the Lord of the Rings I decided to go see the Hobbit part I in Imax 3D. When I was in 5th grade I read the Hobbit and absolutely fell in love with J. R. R. Tolkien’s style of story telling so I was pretty excited to see the movie. The feature wasn’t like the book as always but it didn’t let me down and I can’t wait see the two other parts of the trilogy.
Off for a night-cap at Father Ted’s weeee!!
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