After a few days in Bay of Islands we headed back into Auckland to spend more time in the city. Our original visit was a quick overnight stay the night our flight arrived in New Zealand, so we were excited to get back to Auckland.
Our hostel this time around was Oaklands Lodge in Mount Eden, outside of the CBD. It was known for being a quieter area and in an old house. Since we arrived after reception closed, we grabbed our keys and scoped out the hostel. This time around we were in a 4 bed mixed dorm with shared bathrooms. We crashed early after a quick chat with one of our roommates for the night. Over the next few days we had different roommates each night, all of which were so kind and friendly (and also a pair that was almost half our age 😐).
The next morning we started the day with a run/hike combo near the hostel. We ran until we reached the bottom of Mount Eden which is a dormant volcano and the highest volcanic cone in Auckland. The crater itself is considered sacred, but you can hike up and around the mountain and take in the great views.
The hike to the top was easy and another way to start building up our hiker legs for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The views of the city and surrounding areas were spectacular from the top! However, neither of us brought our cameras so we agreed to re-do the journey on our last morning in Auckland.
After a quick trip to the grocery store for essentials we cleaned up and prepared for the day. While we had lightened our backpack contents in Hawaii and shipped some stuff home, we had also come to realize that we didn’t have any outfits that consisted of much beyond workout attire. We decided to take a quick trip to Sylvia Park to grab a nice outfit or few. We both found some great bargains that came in handy on our trip to Waiheke Island the next day and will be useful for many future outings.
We headed to the downtown ferry terminal to meet up with Kerry’s friend and former coworker, Anna, and Anna’s man, Adam. They were kind enough to plan an evening outing to Devonport. We headed across the water as the weather decided to act up, but we agreed to continue with our original plans.
First we went to a cricket match where Adam was drilled with no less than 500 questions from us on how this sport was played. We drank beers, chatted and hid under a tree in an effort to avoid the ongoing rain. Eventually the weather won and the match was cancelled, but we took cover inside and had a few more beers and asked many more questions.
Then we headed back to the CBD for dinner at BCC (Britomart Country Club) before we caught the last bus back to Mount Eden. Apparently this city likes to close down early! But it was ok as we had big plans for the next day. It was great to see Anna again and catch up on what was going on in our lives, get some top secret New Zealand tips and also drink some beer.
The following day we went to Waiheke Island, which you can read all about here.
On our final morning in Auckland we revisited Mount Eden, then headed to Auckland Domain for another scenic walk. Our bus was leaving for Rotorua around 3:30, so we grabbed lunch and headed back to th CBD to make our way to our next destination.
New Zealand continues to surprise and delight us; Each town is different yet beautiful. You’ll start noticing an overload of photos as our journey through New Zealand progresses and we discover even more!
Keep an eye out for a post about Rotorua coming soon. Until then… cheers!
~ Kerry & Jenny