RWC Final Weekend in Auckland then Waiheke Island!
Trip Start Apr 12, 2011
86Trip End Apr 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Saturday was a day off the rugby (must have been organised this way to maximise the time and money that the tourists spend in Auckland. It’s 11am and people are already on what I hope is their first pint of the day. We tried to be a little more cultural, hit the farmers market for some food and then got the ferry to Rangitoto Island. Rangitoto Island was formed by a volcanic eruption and gradually became an island. Therefore it looks a bit strange when you arrive and there are trees and plantlife growing amongst the black lava rocks. We took an hours hike to the crater, had lunch and then went to explore the lava caves. These turned out to be the highlight – not sure why as all we did is walk through the dark caves and try to find a way out but this amused us immensely – maybe because it’s rare to be allowed to clamber about dark caves due to health and safety rules – that doesn’t bother New Zealand so much. Then back down to the hill to get the ferry back to Auckland, where we congratulated ourselves with a drink at a Macs bar that we had done something productive today. We had dinner at an asian BBQ place (possibly Korean) which was very tasty and involved massive portions. So much so that for the rest of the evening we where only fit to wander about to try to work off dinner – and so we did what everyone else appeared to be doing , walk along the marina and out to Wynark Quay to look at all the fancy boats that were docked. There were alot – at first I thought there must be someone famous on some of the yachts due to the crowds but I think, being New Zealand, most people just appreciate a nice boat.
Sunday – it’s finally here, FINAL DAY
Monday – the morning after. We packed our bags and went to Waiheke Island, not realising there would be a victory parade in Auckland so we did miss that but not sure it we would have had the patience to stand for hours for a second day in the row to wait for the All Blacks. Waiheke was a welcome change – I think they probably did see the rugby but there wasn’t much mention of it. It’s a small island 35 minutes from Auckland and the main attractions are beaches and vineyards. Therefore it is pretty popular with people that have money and we enjoyed eyeing the beach real estate from afar. We stayed at a very cute little lodge, called Fossil Bay Lodge just outside of the main village Oneroa. It was all so relaxed and peaceful, a nice change from Auckland (apart from the first morning when we were awoken by some very disturbed ducks and then screaming children – the hostel doubled as a Steiner kindergarten – I can understand the concept if the aim is to let the kids tire themselves out by screaming at kindergarten and go home exhausted!)
Our first stop on the island was, of course, the vineyards
Second day, we were slightly more productive and did a coastal walk around from our hostel to the ferry terminal – the walk was beautiful and involved minimal scrambling up hills, but was made more interesting by the fact that Jonny’s flip flop broke quite early on and so he had to continue shoeless (true New Zealand style). The main sights of the walk were the beautiful beaches and the beautiful beach houses – both captured our attention, if only we had a few million pounds spare for a holiday home! After our walk, we got lunch in the village and then Steve left us, at which point our stay became far more lazy and we spent the remaining days exploring the island walks and managed to fit a couple more vineyards in as well. We did have a slightly surprising encounter with a nudist beach during one of walks – why you would route a public walkway through the nudist beach I do not know but we just kept our heads down and kept walking – those folks certainly weren’t shy!