The city of sails...
Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
123Trip End Feb 27, 2006
We divided into two minibuses and we were taken to Mount Eden which provided a superb view of the city. It was surreal seeing Auckland's Sky Tower in the distance as I had obviously only seen it in books/on the internet before. I think this was the point where I suddenly thought "Yep, I'm here!" It had sunk in at last! The views were terrific and it was strange to think that I was standing on top of a volcano
Soon after, we arrived at the ACB (Auckland City Backpackers) and after a lengthy wait, we checked into our rooms. When we opened the door, we had a chuckle because it was reminiscent of a scene from Porridge! There were just 4 beds and I was sharing with Aaron, Bruce and James. I had heard that the ACB was a very big building and so it didn't have the character that hopefully other hostels throughout New Zealand will have. Still, it didn't bother me and we dumped our stuff and went out for a stroll and a bite to eat.
The first thing I noticed was how people just walk around the main streets in their bare feet...like I said, very relaxed! Our Nigel would fit in here! There was me in my trainers and socks looking like a typical tourist! Therefore, some kind of sandals were in order (or 'jandals' as they are called here). A trip to The Warehouse beckons...
My first impressions of the place were very positive. The people certainly were very friendly. Even the security guards were polite at the airport, asking about us and telling us where to head for fruit picking work! The harbour was especially nice, with lots of cafes and bars in the Viaduct. Again, more evidence of the chill out culture that I've heard about! We went for a Pizza and took them to a local park and just chilled out for an hour or so in the sunshine, surrounded by birds (the feathered variety) who wanted a sample of our food.
After a couple of beers in the ACB Balcony Bar, we decided to call it a day and headed off to bed. It had been a nice start to the trip, but we were all feeling the effects of jet lag and wanted to shake it off as soon as possible.