A Change of Plan

Trip Start Jul 09, 2013
Trip End Feb 15, 2014

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, January 29, 2014

We spent a couple of days in the Hawkes Bay area visiting the art-deco town of Napier and the small town of Hastings before making our way to Auckland. 

When we arrived in Auckland we were a little bit disappointed at being back in a big city as we have enjoyed the quiet locations around New Zealand. Auckland is the biggest city in the country and the surrounding suburbs take the population of the area to over 1 million people – around a quarter of the population of the entire country! Originally we had planned to work here for four months before spending more time travelling in Asia; after spending a day in Auckland however we decided to consider a change of plan. 

After having a quick look for jobs (all be it not very enthusiastically), we decided we were happy with the amount of cash earnt in Wellington and do not actually need to work to complete our travels. Therefore we thought it would be better to travel onwards to Asia now and deal with getting a more permanent job when we get back to the UK. This means we will get home a few months earlier (probably) and will travel through Asia without hitting the monsoon season. 

Back to Auckland; it really feels to us like a place which does not belong in New Zealand. We will best describe it as a concrete jungle where there is actually not much to do. The main sight is the Sky Tower; there is also a smaller less impressive version of the harbour bridge and a waterfront area where many boats are moored. Apart from one main shopping street that is about it and it did not take us long to explore the city. The best view over the city can be seen from the top of Mount Eden so we took a walk up here one afternoon. We have ventured out to the northern suburb of Takapuna where there is a small waterfront area, and we also wandered along to Mission Bay the main beach closest to the city. 

So we have mentioned that Auckland is a place without any distinguishing or unique features and we have not been very impressed with the city so far, however we think we have found the reason why people might to choose to live in this area – Waiheke Island! This is an island in the Hauraki Gulf which is around 23 kilometres long and home to 8,000 of the Auckland population. Reachable in 40 minutes by boat from Auckland Harbour, this is a small piece of paradise. When you step onto the island you leave the dreary hub of Auckland behind and are reminded of how beautiful New Zealand is. As soon as we arrived on the island we thought ‘we are back in New Zealand’ – beautiful scenery, unspoilt beaches and many lovely vineyards. We went on a tour around the island and got to see some fantastic views. We then spent the afternoon relaxing on the beach and eating ice cream!  

Tomorrow we fly to Singapore and begin our travels in Asia. We have enjoyed our time in New Zealand and are really happy to be able to end our time in this country on a positive.
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