#ThrowBackThursday: New Zealand Part I

From as far as I can remember I've always been fascinated by New Zealand, maybe because if you drill a hole through the earth starting in Spain, you'd land in the nearby from Auckland, or maybe because of the traditional Maori tales and folklore, or maybe it was the unspoiled beauty of its nature that called my name. Who knows. So after working (at times a couple or three jobs at a time)  for a year and a LOT of help from my family (who are amazing!) to save up , I embarked on what would be the most exhilarating trip of my life, and it doesn't mean the other adventures were less amazing, just that this one I had been dreaming for about 14 years. 

On a June 26th I was boarding my British Arways/Quantas flight at Barajas-Madrid Airport final destination Auckland, New Zealand. After 32 hours, and pit stops and transfers in London Heathrow, Singapore Changi, and Sydney International Airport, I finally arrive to the Land of the Great White Cloud on June 28th, with high spirits and a killer jet-lag. Try flying across the globe surrounded by crying babies who won't let you sleep...unlucky but oh so worth it. And of course my luggage was lost due to short transfer times in Sydney (Tip: try to have always transfers of at least 1 hour otherwise your bag WILL be left behind until next flight)

After receiving a cute necessities bag with PJs included from the lovely Quantas staff, I headed to the airport bus and my first temp home, the YHA Auckland City in 18 Liverpool Street. Wonderful staff, and easy to get to know other fellow travellers. A couple days later I was helped by my newly found friends to move into what would be my home away from home for the coming months, an old railway station renovated into a university dorm (The Railway Campus) with karaoke (these Kiwis love their karaoke nights!) and BBQ nights, ping pong and pool tables and a wonderful view to the Auckland bay.

View of the skyline of Auckland from Tamaki Drive, around the corner from the dorm

Anecdote, one day was a Gwen Stefani concert next door to our dorm, as I was walking back to my room from town her big black car pulled up and almost ran me over...how many people can say almost got hit by Gwen Stefani's car in New Zealand?!

Anyhow, adventures began. Met wonderful people from all over the world, visited up and down the country and saw a cute little Kia bird! Ate fish & chips in Mission Bay, walked through Rangitoto and Waiheke Island, attended the Maori New Year's celebrations, saw the sunset from the top of Mount Eden, played pool with a complete stranger in Christchurch, walked on flip-flops in winter, tried sake for the first time with my wonderful Japanese friends...and so much much more. 

Auckland (Aucks for the locals) was always a blast, exploring the different parts of the city and its many beaches and islands.

Auckland Domain Rugby Field, the Kiwis also love their All Balcks!

Auckland from Okahu Bay

Mission Bay, home to the best Fish & Chips Aucks has to offer (also Icecream!)

Rangitoto Island from Mission Bay

Royal Akarana Yatch Club, Auckland has more boat per person the any other city in the WORLD!!

Tamaki Drive

Auckland is set surrounded and on top of volcanic hills, mounts and islands, a the moment inactive and also worth a visit. To popular examples are the islands Rangitoto and Waihiki, easily reachable by ferry from Queen Wharf, direct or via Devonport, where one can find deliciously rich seafood restaurants.

Auckland from the ferry to Devonport

Top of the volcanic island Rangitoto

View from the top of the volcano, Rangitoto Island

Crater of the volcano, Rangitoto Island

View of the bay from the top of Rangitoto Island

Auckland from the top of Rangitoto Island
 On the other hand, Waiheke a lot less volcanic-like and with a whole bay marked for being home to sharks...uhh! And quite the destination for the Kiwi version of Sunday drivers...Sunday sailors!
Entering Matiatia Bay

First stop Oneroa beach

Oneroa Beach

Palm beach from the hill
View from the hills around Palm beach

Waiheke Bay

and huge sells!

Opopoto bay, where we encountered some psycho seagulls who we thought were gonna attack us

Psycho red-eyed seagulls

Opopoto bay

Our final destination for the day, Onetangi bay

Onetangi beach

Onetangi beach (shame it was so cold otherwise a sunset dip would have been dreamy)

And, with this incredible sunset I leave you to start planning your next trip. Next week I'll be showing you a bit of Christchurch and the Transalpine route.

Enjoy ^^

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