Things we learned:
If you want to see some culture: go to the War Museum.
Auckland has a fantastic museum. Most of it shows the culture of the Maoris, the indigenous people of New Zealand. And yes, the Maoris were very aggressive warriors. So much of their history is quite violent.
But still we found it very disturbing to go to a War Museum to see Maori culture. There is a little bit History about WWI and WWII. Just enough to justify the name maybe.
Stuff we saw:
Stuff we did:
We had a very pleasant flight. And I do not say that very often about a long flight (this one took 8+15 hours in the plane plus a layover in Dubai). But the Emirates flight made it possible. The A380 has nice seats, and I was even able to sort of nap through part of the time and ruin my eyesight by watching some movies.
We haven’t looked up a nice place to stay in a guide book and instead just booked one online. A new item on our improve-on-next-travel-list.
Our place happened to be to the busiest party street in Auckland (busy K-street as the locals call it). Three strip clubs within 200m, the “calendar-girls” just opposite our window, a band playing with speakers full-volume, people screaming, singing, and a four-lane intersection couldn’t keep us from sleeping the first night after the long travel. We fell into our beds in the evening and slept a sedated-like sleep. But the second night was a Friday, we were not near-to-coma-tired and that opened our eyes. Literally. Through the whole night. No sleep was possible. At 4:00 am the music stopped and we got a different room the next day, one that was not facing the busy road.
The long night offered us the chance to watch a local movie; very recommendable: “The Hunt for the Wilder-People” is a very funny Kiwi movie.
Auckland turned out to be a nice city, not downtown though which is too busy and not very enjoyable, but all the parks that are spread around the city, a fantastic museum of war and Maori tradition and some volcanoes which you can climb to get a nice view over the city.
The layout with hills and water surrounding the city is fantastic. The traffic is not though. Most streets are four lanes, making it very loud in the city.
We enjoyed staying at a very vivid hostel with people from all over the world. Everybody is having a good time, some are living in the hostel, working in bars in Auckland with their work & travel visa.
We walked our feet off all over the city. Down Queens Road, the busy main shopping road, to the harbor which is not very remarkable.
We were not very convinced on the first day. That changed by walking the parks of Auckland. There are several parks all around the city. And they show the typical attitude of the Kiwi folks: live your life.
Everywhere dads show their little kids how to throw a cricket ball, friends gather to do some sports together, others prepare a barbeque. There are people strolling in the park, some run, others sit in the fantastic trees or walk their dogs. They all enjoy their time. It is very peaceful. Very laid back.
We loved the parks.
The trees with their wild roots and strangely shaped branches look like they just don’t like straight lines. They all grow in crazy curves in all directions forming wonderful creatures.
Arriving at Thursday we took our time to adjust to the new time zone and relaxed before we got our rental at the airport on Monday.