Auckland! Auckland! Auckland!
One thing that I always notice about a new city is what people wear. There really is no standard here. You'll see tow girls walking together, one dressed to the nines, decked out in sky-high heels and jewels all over her, and her friend will be wearing a messy sundress and converse sneakers. It's a bit random, but it definitely makes me feel better about my backpacker wardrobe!
The buildings are unique! Really really old character buildings in among brand new all glass towers. There are palm trees all over the place and it is very humid. Their trees are massive!! Not really tall like in Vancovuer, but very very wide and big. It's quite neat to see. The drivers are very entertaining, just honking and honking for what appears to be no reason at all.
Our hostel, ACB Base Backpackers, was right off of Queen Street, the main strip of downtown. (Thanks for the heads up about Queen Street Sue!) It was nice to just wander up and down the street, looking at all the shops and people. My favourite part of downtown is at a busy intersection. The traffic lights stop cars in all directions and a big mass of people walk in every direction in the middle of the road. It's beautiful chaos. You have to be careful though, this only happens at a few intersections.. and seeing as they drive on the other side of the road, we're still adjusting to which way to look first before jetting out into the street.
Realizing that we aren't really downtown people, we did some fun day-trip excursions, exploring the outskirts of downtown Auckland. We went trekking to One Tree Hill - a historical monument on top of a hill, Mount Eden - an old volcanic cone, and wandered along the fancy Parnell Village. Everything here is just so BIG!! The green spaces are massive amounts of rolling green hills, all very lush still for it being the end of their summer.
We saw our first sheep up on One Tree Hill. This was a very exciting moment for the two of us! We baaa'd and raaam'd and ewe'd ... just like on Babe, but the sheep weren't big fans of that. We learned that we haven't quite honed our sheep-speaking abilities yet - all the sheep just got up and walked away from us. Give it time, they will come! We'll make friends.. just you wait!!
New Zealand, at least Auckland, is definitely more expensive than Victoria. Just a plain, drip-coffee, size small is usually $4! So a latte is a truly delicious and wonderful splurge! Is it wrong that I care more about a delicious cup of coffee than a healthy meal? :s hmm.. priorities.
Internet is usually $3 for an hour, unless you find one of the few coffee shops that offer you one hour wifi in exchange for buying something. Currently I am happily seated in an Esquires coffee shop, looking at a teeny tiny adorable birdy happily bouncing around the coffee shop beside me.
It is rainy here today, but still very warm!
More on Auckland and Our Next Adventure
Today Luke and I begin our "around the middle of the North Island" adventure for at least 5 weeks we'll be trekking around and stopping in a bunch of neat little cities. We'll be busing on this adventure!
Raglan - a little surf town with a cool vibe
Rotorua - a unique town with lots to see and do
Waitomo - to do some underground cave adventuring
Taupo - because we heard that it's cool
Tauranga - to try our hand at working on a farm!
Wellington - because we heard its a lot like our little Victoria