Australia & the Pacific Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Songdoc's 5th Trip to Gorgeous New Zealand: A Trip Report

Jump to last reply

This was our fifth trip to New Zealand. Ostensibly, we were there to teach songwriting workshops, but the truth is that we chose to present the workshops in the "Land of the Long White Cloud" because we love it there. I travel with my life partner who runs my business. We’re 57 & 61.

For those who would rather look at pictures than read about the places we saw, here’s a link: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=2QctG7hu0ZMNu

We arrived in Auckland May 28th after three wonderful weeks in Australia. (That’s been posted as a separate report.) Our accommodation was a 1-bedroom apartment at the Chifley suites—one block from bustling Queen Street, and a short walk to the waterfront. It cost $128/nt. We liked everything about the apartment—but a couple of times the noise was bad. Most nights, earplugs blocked the construction and traffic noise, but on our final morning we were awakened at 4:30AM by drunken singing on the street, five stories below. Sadly, for that reason I wouldn’t stay there again.

I only had one full day off in Auckland, and several partial days when I wouldn’t be working. On previous trips we’ve scheduled more time for vacation and visited the beaches west of Auckland, the Bay of Islands, Wellington, the Kapiti Coast, Queenstown, Milford Sound, Abel Tasman, and Rotorua. FYI, we loved Abel Tasman, and the area surrounding Rotorua so much that we’ve visited twice.

On our one full day off in Auckland this time a dear friend (who coordinates our business in NZ) took us on a Discovery 360 boat from Auckland Harbour to Tiritiri Matangi Island, a wildlife and bird sanctuary with a number of rare and endangered species. It was a pleasant 45-minute boat ride, including a stop in Gulf Harbour to pick up additional passengers. Besides being a beautiful place to spend the day and walk, “Tiri” (as it’s referred to) is a bird lover’s paradise, with tuis, fantails, owls, silvereyes, grey warblers, bellbirds and spotless crakes. The fantails were incredible, flitting so close to us we were afraid we might step on one. We’d packed a picnic lunch and ate while watching tuis at their feeders. It was a relaxing, wonderful day.

During a couple of additional free hours we enjoyed wandering around Albert Park, as well as the Domain, with its walking paths, greenhouses, and fountains. It’s across from the Auckland Museum, but we didn’t have enough time to go there.

Food: We had a very good meal at the Ironwood Café in the trendy Mt. Eden area (where our friend lives), but most of our meals were at the food arcade in Ponsonby. There were more varieties of authentic, inexpensive Asian food than I could have imagined, and we enjoyed all of the meals we had there.

Before I leave Auckland I’ll mention that the conventional wisdom seems to be that you fly into Auckland—and immediately leave. IMO, there are plenty of nice things to do and beautiful places to see in and around Auckland. But most people have a very limited amount of time in NZ, and the truth is that in terms of scenery, Auckland doesn’t compare with places like Queenstown—and that’s what I think most people visit NZ for. It's a perfectly fine city--but not on par with Sydney-or even Wellington. Sorry Auckland ...

To be continued …

26 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement: Writers Needed for Morocco Guidebook
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Apr 11, 14 at 05:51 PM
View all Australia & the Pacific activity »
  1. 1 10 days itinerary
  2. 2 26 day NZ motorhome itinerary.
  3. 3 4 weeks in NZ in Feb. 2015
  4. 4 Planning first trip to Australia - input requested. :)
  5. 5 Packing List
  6. 6 Family trip to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane
  7. 7 Do Great Ocean Road or head to New Zealand?
  8. 8 Internet access
  9. 9 12 day Australia Itinerary
  10. 10 Christchurch or Auckland?
  11. 11 Books?
  12. 12 Trip Report Four Weeks on the South Island. Report
  13. 13 Choosing a Visa
  14. 14 Australia & NZ -3 weeks
  15. 15 One spare day in Darwin
  16. 16 Trip Report Planning a trip to Melbourne
  17. 17 Kangaroo Island/port Douglas
  18. 18 Travel Visa
  19. 19 Canberra
  20. 20 Trip Report Our really quite big adventure, Act 3 - heaven and hell in Queensland
  21. 21 Christmas Day lunch or Dinner in Sydney
  22. 22 Family Trip to New Zealand: Would love itinerary thoughts!
  23. 23 Bicycle Traving - What not to do
  24. 24 5 Australian restaurants make top 100
  25. 25 Kakadu: Cooinda back to Darwin - time for Litchfield?
View next 25 » Back to the top