Me & my Wife left for the Airport around 4 AM on 6th Nov. Our Flight was Singapore Airlines for both ways. It was a 20 Hr Flight time with a 4 Hour Stop @ Singapore Airport. We reached our 1st Destination i.e. AUCKLAND on 7th Nov around 12 PM. Took a RAV4 Car to Self Drive through a very nice & simple app "CAR4RENTAL." We both were in AWE of the place as soon as we got out of the Airport. The Air was so fresh, beautiful weather, lovely non-polluted an non-populated roads. The weather was kind of Cold (our packing was not in accordance to that :P ) We drove to our Hotel (Heritage Hotel) as was greeted by Jimmy there. The Room was good. We were tired from the Flight, so just slept till evening. In the evening we visited the Sky Tower which was @ walking distance from our hotel. As the weather was too cold & our clothes were not ;) , we came back quickly, had dinner @ RAVIZ (an Indian Restaurant) and came back to the hotel.
New Zealand, with its beautiful landscapes is a welcome respite from the crowds and pollution of the city life. Every corner of this country is apt for a postcard. It has something for every traveler, the north island is known for its active volcanoes and geothermal parks, whereas the south is famous for its beautiful landscapes and adventure activities. When every city or pit stop can leave you spell bound, choosing an itinerary becomes quite tough. Since we wanted a mix of nature and adventure we finally chose the following route:Delhi->Auckland->Waitomo->Rotorua->Christchurch->Hokitika->Okarito->Wanaka->Queenstown->Te Anau->Queenstown->Auckland->Delhi
I had my flight from Bangalore to Auckland via Kuala Lumpur. On arriving at Auckland, I was welcomed by Auckland's sunny and fantastic weather (21 degrees Celsius) which is quite rare. I hopped on a shuttle bus that took me straight to my Airbnb - The Trafalgar House. This is a beautifully restored 130-year-old mansion run by extremely kind and sweet hosts Kathy and David. Located in the quiet neighbourhood of Onehunga, the bus stop is just 2-mins away from the property where you get frequent buses to the City Centre.I spent 2 nights in Auckland. If you want to explore the city, you must head to the city centre and get a feel of the busy city life. Auckland's sky observation tower provides a great view of the city from a height of 220m. There are some cool and "expensive" bars and restaurants around. Cornwall Park is one of the must visit places when in Auckland. It is a refuge for bikers, runners, picnickers and travellers. It is home to a wide variety of vegetation and has a working farm inside the park. The hike to One-tree Hill is rewarding with its picturesque view from the summit.
Today you can choose from activities depending on your taste! But since it's your last day, you may want to just relax in each other's arms and not venture out much. If you do wish to go out, you can pick from two of the most popular activities in Auckland.For movie buffs, this will be a Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) Middle Earth Tour. This famous movie was shot in many parts of New Zealand and the Hobbit houses are located only an hour away from Auckland. You can go for a half or full day excursion to these places. A typical tour will include a guided tour of the LOTR movie sets where you can see the Green Dragon Inn and the home of Bilbo Baggins. You will then proceed for a boat ride through the Waitomo Glowworm Caves.For those who wish to spend their last day in a more romantic manner, you can go for a full-day excursion to Waiheke Island for a food and wine-tasting tour. A guided tour and tasting at three of Waiheke Island's vineyards: Stonyridge, Casita Miro and Mudbrick followed by some olive tasting at Rangihoua Estate and ending with a splendid lunch. Just ensure that whatever expedition you pick, you are back in time for your flight back home.Activities for the day: Hobbit Movie Set tour or Waiheke Island food and wine tour.Cost: The Hobbit movie set tour generally costs around 340 NZD or Rs.15,700 and a Waiheke island tour costs around 155 NZD or Rs. 7,200 per person.
Auckland has so many wonders, it's difficult to decide where to go and what to do! However, it's best to start with a casual stroll to explore the city. A half day city tour will take you to the most popular sights of the town and help familiarise you with what the city has to offer. Visit the quaint village of Parnell and stroll by its cute shops, travel through Auckland Domain, the oldest park in the city and see famed Queen Street with its heritage architecture. Post lunch you can leave for an exciting whale and dolphin watching cruise. At Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, whales, dolphins and even some penguins are a common sight. Leave from Auckland for a half-day tour onboard a custom-built luxury catamaran.Activities for the day: Half-day sightseeing of Auckland city, half day at the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park.Cost: On an average, a city sightseeing tour will cost around 65 NZD or Rs. 3,000 per person and a half-day cruise to spot whales and dolphins will cost 170 NZD or Rs. 7,800 per person.
Auckland, or Tāmaki Makaurau, its Māori name, means city of many lovers. And love is what will blossom between the two honeymooners in this city where water is never far away and within an hour's drive you find thermal springs, rainforest, wineries and wildlife reserves. Rugged and beautiful beaches with perfect waves for surfing, the glistening Hauraki Gulf with its many islands, the city's heart that is framed by high-rise buildings and a skyline that rivals the ones in New York or San Francisco, Auckland is a city that is an eclectic mix of intrigue and excitement. Today, you can relax in your room and just venture out for a romantic dinner at Sidart for the best of fusion food or Azabu for some Japanese delicacies.
Our trip to New Zealand was just under two weeks long and covered both the North and South islands. We started by landing in Auckland in the middle of the night. And we didn't have to take an expensive cab to our hotel. Because New Zealand has this wonderful, super-reliable, bang-on- time service called SuperShuttle, which specializes in airport pick-ups and drops, and is available in every major city. You could book your shuttle online on their website (Supershuttle.co.nz) or find one right outside the airport arrivals.
While you soak in the beauty of the rolling greens of Auckland and the sunny beaches, stay assured that the Kiwis give no worries to a dreamy solo traveller. The awe inspiring volcanic cones, Hauraki Gulf Islands, the beautiful wineries and amazing food tours, it's simply a paradise for solo explorers.
Paihia Town Beach: Conveniently close to restaurants and shops, this beach is excellent for sunbathing and swimming. The crowd is always of a mixed age in the bay, but this beach attracts the younger lot more.