Previously, I mentioned that New Zealand was on the top of my bucket list. I’ve heard great things about the country countless times. On this trip, I visited Christchurch and the famous Aoraki/Mount Cook, which was terrific. After spending a few days on the South Island, I flew to Auckland on New Year’s Day.
Frankly, I had a very high expectation of Auckland. I just thought the city would be something like a combination of Sydney and Toronto — a sort of trendy and easygoing. In a way, it was true. But I wasn’t impressed.
In this series:
- Introduction: New Year 2020 In The South Pacific
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Manila
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Manila to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur
- Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Satellite Terminal – Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL)
- Jewel Changi Airport
- Qantas International First Lounge – Singapore Changi (SIN)
- Qantas First Class A380 Singapore to Melbourne
- Qantas International First Lounge – Melbourne (MEL)
- Qantas Business Class 737-800 Melbourne to Christchurch
- Doubletree Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, New Zealand
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Tour Around the City
- Getting Lost in the Countryside: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
- Air New Zealand Domestic Lounge – Christchurch (CHC)
- Air New Zealand (Premium) Economy 787-9 Christchurch to Auckland
- My First Impression of Auckland, New Zealand
- Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart, New Zealand
- The North Island Must Do: Hobbiton and Rotorua
- Fiji Airways Business Class A350-900XWB Auckland to Nadi
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa – Nadi, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Business Class A330-200 Nadi to Singapore
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
- Malindo Air Business Class 737-900 Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu
- Shopping Spree in Thamel – Kathmandu, Nepal
- Cathay Dragon Business Class A330-300 Kathmandu to Hong Kong
- 16-Hour Delay on my American Airlines, with a Happy Ending
- Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Los Angeles
- Fin: Final Flights and My Closure with American Airlines – It was Good While It Lasted
Getting from the airport to the city was easy. The shuttle bus service is operated by SkyBus, The fare was 35 NZD for a round-trip journey, which took about 45 minutes to get to Auckland city center. For the most part, roads in New Zealand were great, and the traffic wasn’t bad at all, though there wasn’t much to see until you get to downtown.
Something I noticed right off the bat was that there were so many constructions around the city, which made it difficult to walk around as there were quite a few road and sidewalk closures. That said, I think the downtown area has a lot of potential of being a lovely place to walk around, especially in the harbor area.
I love photography, and some of you who know me personally would probably get annoyed because I stop every few minutes to take photos when traveling, ask Kevy. But for some reason, I just didn’t take many pictures this time — strange!
One evening, I decided to walk around the harbor area and took some pictures.
Again, if you expect downtown Auckland would look something like Sydney Harbor, then you might be disappointed. Okay, it’s not at all that bad, but perhaps I just set my expectation too high.
Despite my thought about the city, I think the evening atmosphere was pretty lively though. I saw many restaurants in the area and a lot of people walking around enjoying the beginning of spring weather.
All in all, Auckland was okay. It wasn’t all bad; it just didn’t meet my expectations. I like major Australian cities such as Sydney and Melbourne better. While I think Auckland shares a few similarities, it’s just not quite as neat as I expected, mainly because of the constructions going on. That said, the countrysides of New Zealand were a totally different game. This is what New Zealand is known for after all, and I can’t wait to share the North Island must-do list!