After a long, but surprisingly quick flight from Vancouver to Auckland I arrived in New Zealand! I quickly realized that arriving in the dark at 5 a.m. is a daunting thing to do when in a new city. Thankfully, it was really easy to find a bus from the airport that drove to the downtown core.
Dropped off near the hostel I was staying at, I was startled by the sound of hip-hop music bounding through the walls as I walked in. I later learned that Lady Gaga was in town, and the night before had been party central. Luckily, I could store my things at the hostel as check-in wasn’t until 2 p.m., so I had a full day of exploring to do (once it became light outside).
I found my first day in Auckland to be very strange, mind you I was seriously jet lagged, but weird things were already happening in this foreign land!
In the lounge while another tired traveller slept on a couch, a random hippie-like man came into the lounge, handed me a red rose and then walked out! Why? I’ll never know. Just like that, my trip was off to a strange start.
Around 8 a.m. I decided I had had enough of the lounge and went to venture outdoors. In the midst of rush hour, I proceeded to walk on the correct side of the road (yes!) to the nearest convenience store to purchase a sim card for my phone. With data connectivity and a new phone number, I was ready to roll.
Feeling the 14 hour plane ride catch up with me, it was time for a coffee. So off to find a Starbucks I went! That took all of two minutes. Set with an overpriced, plain, tall latte (over $5), I decided to sit and people-watch while I planned the rest of my day.
In Auckland you can cross the street diagonally on the walk signal – pretty neat. While at Starbucks I spotted these girls who would run into the middle of the street on the walk signal, pose for a picture with some random prop, like this chair below, and then run back to the sidewalk! Must have been some kind of stunt, or form of creative photography.
Then I saw this:
Guess the residents of Auckland can check seeing a horse playing a clarinet off their lists!
Weird thing number three?
I saw this man who was doing a challenge for charity. What was the catch? He had get from place A to place B without touching the ground! So his day was spent getting piggy backs from strangers and climbing transit stations like they were monkey bars etc.
I spent the rest of the day exploring Auckland’s harbour area, which was very similar to Vancouver. The weather was perfect, lots of blue sky and sun. I also checked out some of the major districts of Auckland and then started to hike the Coast to Coast trail to Mount Eden, which was SO beautiful.
By the end of all of this, my feet were killing me and I was ready for bed. It was only 5 p.m. though, so I bought some dinner and headed back to the hostel. I managed to make it to about 8:30 p.m. that night, before falling asleep.
What’s the best way to be startled in the middle of the night?
Yes, at 3:30 a.m. The fire alarm went off and the whole hostel had to be evacuated. Welcome to Auckland! In the cold we all went, half of us were tired, the other half had just gotten back from the bar. Either way, people were not impressed.
With only a few hours until my Topdeck tour started, I managed to go back to sleep and rest up for the remainder of the night.
And it was a false alarm, thought I’d mention that.
Stay tuned for the next journey of the North Island!
– Canadian Kiwi Girl