Auckland Highlights

I’m not sure what to write about here. I did fill my days in Auckland but when I wrote out a summary post it was extremely boring to read. Maybe I’ll go with some highlights.

Hostel Highlights

– My hostel, Verandahs, was awesome. It was a smaller (for Auckland) hostel with maybe 30-35 people (contrasted with Base or Normads who have hundreds of beds). It was also right on the edge of the central business district, which meant easy access but not loud or too crazy. It was in a hipster neighborhood called Ponsonby which reminded me a lot of the West Village in NYC. There were small cafes, bars and tiny shops lining the main street.

– There were people from Germany (so many Germans, half the hostel I think was German), the UK, Ireland, Estonia, Italy, Chile and France. In the hostel though everyone speaks English; it’s the one language that everyone has in common.

– On Sunday we had a potluck. It was fantastic and easily the best meal I’ve had since I’ve been in NZ. Everyone cooked something and then about 25 of us ate together in kitchen.

Sight Seeing Highlights

– Rangitoto is a small island formed about 600 years ago after a volcanic eruption. It’s a 15 minute ferry ride from the wharf in Auckland. It’s a nature preserve so there are no services on the island. It’s beautiful and has amazing views of Auckland.
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– MOTAT- in addition to the steam pumps there is also an Aircraft hanger that has many planes and jets, both commercial and part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force.
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Boat Plane. Note the weird shaped bottom- it’s so it can land in water.
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The smart car of airplanes.

– Albert Park- a beautiful park right off the main street in CBD in Auckland. Just gorgeous and right in front of the university. I ate lunch there one day.
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I think that about covers it. I also went to gymnastics, did laundry, went food shopping multiple times, went to a few coffee shops to snag their free internet and visited some other (not as fun or picturesque) sites in Auckland.

Overall, I really liked Auckland but I’m not sure if it was because of the city itself. I think it was more the people I met in the hostel. It was very social, there were always people around to talk to and the owner was exceptionally nice. I’m happy with my experience there, though. I had a good time and when I go back (which I’ll have to do in about a week or so in order to travel south) I’ll try to stay for a few days in the same hostel.

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