Seeing the world from a new perspective is refreshing, but it’s much easier said than done. There have been times on this trip when we’ve been forced to see things from a different angle and there have been times where we’ve sought that out. However, most of the time it’s just the two of us making decisions on where to go and what to see. When we arrived in Auckland, New Zealand we didn’t have any plans except to meet up with friends Rod and Jill and sight see with my parents, which gave us the opportunity to see things we wouldn’t normally seek out.
The view of downtown Auckland from Mt. Eden
Due to their suggestions we saw the city from a different point of view. Rather than scour the Lonely Planet for advice on what is a must-see and consulting with my husband, I left our itinerary in the hands of our wonderful hosts Rod and Jill and what my parents were interested in. Of course I had a few things I wanted to see, but it was more fun being with friends and family than seeing all of Auckland’s sights.
The swanky Champagne and Oyster Bar at the Auckland Seafood Festival
The perfect place to spend time with my parents was the Auckland Seafood Festival, which may not have even made my radar, but piqued my parents interest. We spent a wonderful day tasting seafood from some of Auckland’s best restaurants and enjoying live music. We had a great time watching cooking demonstrations and wandering along the harbor while chatting.
One of the many fine examples of Maori carving at the Auckland Museum
The next day we explored the city by public bus taking in The Auckland Museum and their excellent Maori exhibits. We learned a lot about the Maori people of New Zealand and natural history. We had a beer at the oldest pub in Auckland, hiked up Mt. Eden and then had some of the best calamari I have ever had in my life. Without my parents we wouldn’t have enjoyed this delicious treat!
The best calamari I have ever eaten, fresh, crispy and delicious!
After a few days of exploring Auckland with my parents we headed out of the city with Rod, whom is a geologist. He has a passion for all natural things and was excited to take us out to the Waitakere Range and Muriwai Beach. We visited a large gannett colony, which is a migratory bird that settles at Muriwai Beach for part of the year. Again, wouldn’t have even known it was there, but really enjoyed it thanks to Rod.
Muriwai Beach where the Gannet colony settles from March to August
Auckland was a city that I had few expectations for, but really enjoyed seeing sights we might not have seen on our own. Taking in the sights of this wonderful city with friends and family made it memorable. If you have the chance to see a place through different eyes I always encourage you to jump at the opportunity!
WHEN YOU GO:
Be prepared for the travel costs. We traveled in New Zealand using Naked Bus and it was a great way to get from city to city inexpensively, they also offer transport within cities and city tours in some places. A city bus pass is a great way to get around within Auckland as well.