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Auckland, New Zealand: First Impressions of this Gorgeous City

As I talked about in my last article “World Travel Insider: What’s Been Going On?” I have decided to take a trip to Auckland, New Zealand and couldn’t be happier about it.  I feel that this break has been the easiest thus far.  Everything including all my flights and travel experiences couldn’t have gone smoother.  Having a friend here in Auckland also helped immensely by getting swooped from the airport and having a place to stay at straight away until I get both feet on the ground!  Also since it’s only 4 hours, well technically 20, the jet lag was pretty much non-existent, which is always amazing for a bigggg trip! :)

The City

Auckland is such a gorgeous city all around!  From the beautiful views of the harbour, the lush greenery, the clean streets, and the extremely nice Kiwis- I am loving it already.  I am currently staying in a cute little suburb called Ponsonby, which is about a 30 min walk to the CBD (downtown) and has dozens of restaurants and bars within walking distance.  Last week I walked for about 5 hours, to the city, all around the city, and then back home!  The weather was amazing and I feel like that is the best way to really get to know a new place!  Locals say that the city is very spread out, but I feel it’s quite small and quite easy to navigate.  Coming from Sydney it’s like a walk in the park with getting around and the distance between some of the suburbs and the CBD.  I have yet to make it to the beaches that are mostly a bit out of town, but can’t wait to experience them once it warms up a bit more.

CBD of Auckland

CBD of Auckland

Gorgeous Flowers here in Auckland

The Culture

My first impressions of the culture here in Auckland is that it is quite Americanized, but definitely has that Asian influence and is very laid back.  The city has a great range of cuisine and from what I’ve experience so far, it has a lot more flavor and diversity than Australia- sorry!  The city is immaculately clean and everything seems so new.  It’s a very walkable city and very pedestrian friendly.  One thing that caught me off guard was their use of diagonal crosswalks- WTF?!  I guess they’re the only country that utilizes them but it seems to be quite efficient for all the pedestrians being able to walk straight across to the opposite street corner.  Also I feel like the Kiwis carry themselves in a much more poised manner than some cultures not to be mentioned- cough Australia!  But you have to love each culture for what they are bringing to the table!

A Diagonal Crosswalk in the CBD of Auckland

A Diagonal Crosswalk in the CBD of Auckland WTF?

Viaduck Auckland

Loving life by the water in the Viaduct area downtown

My Current Sitch

As I had mentioned I had a few friends that I know from previous travels.  Two Kiwi boys had stayed with me while I was living in Barcelona and have taken me in.  I’m currently staying in an extra bedroom in their house, which is an old bed and breakfast and is massive.  Although the air mattress I’ve been sleeping on is not ideal- the situation could not be more interesting and the immersion into a Kiwi’s day-to-day life is in full effect.  There are a total of 8 Kiwis living here and it has been quite an experience.  In the beginning it was a bit intimidating, but now its like I’m one of the “fam” and have been getting shit and giving it like the rest of them.  I found a job my first week here and am bar-tending at a small cocktail bar on Ponsonby Road called Julep.  I’m enjoying it a lot and it gives me an opportunity to meet a lot of new people.  I of course have to comment about the Kiwis and their partying- yes they are ridiculous and I’m going to admit, I cannot keep up!  I’ve had a lot of fun going to house parties and to some of the local bars.  Working the weekends has kept me out of a bit of trouble, but I still managed to give myself a black eye last weekend.  Slowly but surely my eye is healing and I’m not letting it ruin a great New Years Eve party on the island of Waiheke!  Stories to follow…

The lovely house I’ve been staying in

Things are going well here and Auckland has been good to me!  I can’t wait to go traveling in a few weeks and will keep you all updated on my journeys as I experience more of the North Island and the South Island.  Everyone have an amazing and safe New Years and I’ll speak with you soon! :)

 

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