Updated: May 26, 2020
In current times of crisis when most of us are stuck at home it is good sometimes to think back to all those good experiences we've had in the past. When thinking about the good old times, my mind always takes back to trips I enjoyed the most. One of those was a layover in Auckland, New Zealand. I was lucky enough to have had a pleasure of visiting this city multiple times. It is one on those cities where there is always something to do, no matter how many times you visit it.
I visited Auckland on layovers while working for Emirates as part of cabin crew. Visits were usually 24 - 56 hours long. While this is enough for some cities to get a proper feel for them I feel like this was not the case here. I hope I get a chance to visit New Zealand again to explore more thoroughly. That being said I did have a chance to see a lot and had lots of fun by exploring the city with my colleagues.
Big cities are my thing. I enjoy strolling through the streets filled with people busy going places trying to imagine how would it be to live in the city I am currently visiting. Auckland is quite a busy place, especially business district but still feel very leisurely comparing to other metropolises like London or New York. There are a lot of similarities to other cities in former British colonies like Australia or South Africa in terms of city architecture but it has it uniqueness and by that I mean people. I find people of New Zealand very welcoming and happy to assist in time of need, more so than in many other countries.
Mission Bay Beach
Running, cycling or just walking are very popular here as there are plenty of people living a very healthy lifestyle. My favourite scenic route is located by the seaside in almost its entirety. From downtown to Mission Bay beach and continuing to Achilles Point. A good stop on the way is Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Park, filled with flowers. Further from the city is an island called Rangitoto. A volcanic island accessible by ferry or sea kayak. It is one those islands where nothing but nature is available. It's a place where you can enjoy peace and quiet or a company of fellow travellers, locals at the summit with a stunning view of the city.
More famous is Waiheke Island known for its beaches, vineyards and olive gardens. Going around the island is possible by several ways such as a bus, bike or by a car. It is one of the largest islands in Auckland metropolitan area. My colleagues and myself decided to use a bus since no bikes were available for hire at the time. We visited Oneroa Beach and walked to Fishermans rock, that offers beautiful views and scenery. We continued to much nicer Sandy Bay and Palm Beach before returning to ferry terminal. It is a beautiful place where you can easily spend whole day without even realizing it.
Closer to downtown area in the middle of high end neighborhood Mt. Eden can be located. Walk to the summit is about 10 min long, after which a 360 degree view of the city and a 50 meter crater of the volcano can be seen. Suburb Maungawhau - Mt. Eden is home to Eden Park, a stadium where famous All Blacks (New Zealand National Rugby team) plays their matches and have been unbeaten since 1994. Another attraction in the area is a historic Mt. Eden Prison with its long history stretching all the way back to 1856.
Hope you enjoyed first post. More to come soon.