Here I am in New Zealand! I cannot believe it has already been two weeks! Time flies!
I have been staying with my friend Ruby, who I met while living in Nairobi in 2014! I would have never imagined to really be able to visit her literally on the other side of the world from Italy! I am exactly 12 hours ahead of Florence!
At first, it was quite strange to be in a country that was not Australia. I had gotten used all those eucalyptus trees, all those magnificent birds and their voices, all those neverending beaches. I even had gotten used to the spiders and the snakes! It was so strange not to have to be afraid of them anymore!
New Zealand for the first time
In New Zealand, nothing is really dangerous! How crazy is that? I mean, in terms of animals and insects. And even crazier, I have been told there are no mammals here! Is it even possible? Well, I don’t know but I do have to trust the information I am given by the locals!
Kiwi people are super nice! I was welcomed on my first day here with smiles and lots of “hello”s by random strangers on the street. Everyone just accepts you as you are, a foreigner, backpacker, traveller, queer or whatever you might be. I felt incredibly at ease here since the very first moment.
What to do in Auckland
I have to admit that I didn’t do much since I arrived here. We went for dumplings in what looked like “China Town” here in Auckland, then to a theatre show downtown the first evening (it does look that the cultural scene here in Auckland is quite interesting). I went for some cafes crawling around the city, and I particularly loved St. Kevin’s Arcade, on Karangahape Road, which is a nice quirky street close to the CBD. From there, I went for a walk in the nearby park (Myers Park) and then to the City Library, which I really loved. Free wifi of course, a nice cafe and a nice selection of comics also!
Using public transport in Auckland
There are buses, trains and ferries you can take in Auckland by paying cash (on buses, at the ferry terminals and at the train stations) or with an AT HOP Card. Reliable, on time and great quality public transport! Thumbs up Auckland!
Just outside Auckland
Just outside Auckland, there are plenty of things you can do! First of all, go to the most amazing beaches! I went to Piha Beach, Karekare and Te Henga! (with black sand). There are also plenty of hikes and cycling rides you can do around! Just check Aucklandtourism.co.nz for some tips!
You can also visit the islands close to the city! Rangitoto, Waiheke and the Great Barrier Island!
To and from Auckland Airport
It takes only 35 minutes from the city centre to the airport! SkyBus runs 24 hours a day and provides a great service, one way 18 dollars or 34 with return.! If you hop on a bus, it would be something like 75 dollars (quite expensive).