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Last updated : Nov 2009
What an underated place! We loved Auckland.
Dec 12-14

(With our amazing tour guides/hosts Paula and Johnny!)

Well they say its a small world but it is always amazing when someone who you haven'tseen for 5 years or more calls your name in the street. OK so Paula knew we would be in Auckland but............

Arrived in Auckland and picked the car up and cruised off down the streets to find us a place to live. Not long before I nearly passed out with hunger we found a rather good travel lodge and so parked up and decamped. Had dinner in a rather cool place where the food was rather good and the wine even better. Ahhh New Zealand we have arrived !

The next day after some emergency laundry we cruised through Ponsonbry street and around had a stupendous breakfast in soem funky cafe and caught up with the latest celebrety goss in the trashmags on hand. Has Christmas come early ? We then unlaoded our entire wallets on the floor as we eneterd into the outdoorsand camping shop. Thesse guys saw us coming. Yes we'll have everything please ! Managed to get super upgraded on our tent without even a flinch...but we got some good discounts and walked / staggered out with enough equipment to camp for a year.

Moved on to cruise the main harbour checking out the sites and then ran into Paula. Obviously had to have a celebratory beer or two, great to catch up and before we knew it we were invited for a slap up barbie at Paula and Jonnies for dinner. Sweet !

Somehow the rest of the afternoon disapeared and we were soon sitting on the patio and soaking up some typical kiwi hospitality (did I mention the steaks on the barbie ?). Had a great evening and poured ourselves into a cab..........

The next day Paula had decided to take the day off to oblige us on a tourist hop around Auckland with Jonnie. Visited Piha beach and decided it was a great place to buy a house. Just like everyone else who ever goes, right ? Beautiful rugged beach and dunes with really nice houses overlooking the sea....

Then on to a famous lookout point to (can't remember the name) for some panoramic vistas. As we were there (no one else was) a van drove up with some colourful looking characters who rolled out took off their shoes and started a full on Haka ! Spontaneous tourist show..... result.....although wouldn't have said that to their faces.

On to a vineyard for lunch and a glass of Sav blanc.....this is the life !

We then went on to another vantage pont overlooking Auckland which was quite stunning. The weather broke and the sun came out. Hooray ! We then walked over to a famous Maouri site on the hill with amazing carvings on the entrance. One of the guys was kind enough to invite us onto the site (it is traditional to be officially welcomed onto the site)to have a look which was really cool and he tols us about the renovation work they had been doind to restore the site after a fire years before. The site is famous within Auckland as the
goverment tried to reclaim it and it there were huge protests until the gov. backed down. Amazing positioning and I'm sure the land is worth a fortune so it doesn't suprise me about the struggle for power. But now it seems to be back in the hands of the rightful owners.

After this we went down to a beach which is on the x coast and we ticked into big icecreams sitting on the beach wall soaking in the sun. Back to the ranch for dinner (well after a snooze, those sugar highs wears you out !). Had marinaded squid on the BBQ and green lipped mussels.....heeeello !

Took up the offer to crash at Paula and Jonnies place - you would too if you saw it then after breakfast headed off down south. Fantastic hosts and a great stay in Auckland !