We saved Auckland for the last day of our whirlwind New Zealand adventure (check out our itinerary and read about our previous 3 days here, here, and here). We stayed at the Crowne Plaza Auckland, which was right downtown and allowed us to easily walk around the city for the day. The view out of our hotel room, had us ready to get out and explore!
Our first stop was probably our favourite spot in Auckland – the waterfront! We love cities set in dramatic settings, and being right on the ocean is always a good bet.
Of course, being only four days into the jetlag and the timezone assault on our internal body clocks, we needed more coffee. Fortunately for us, Auckland is bursting at the seams with trendy coffee shops and cafes, seemingly on every street corner.
Bettina found this mobile coffee shop called Utopia Coffee which she particularly adored (probably because it's turquoise).
We couldn't imagine a better way to start off our day exploring Auckland than sipping on a delicious cappuccino in the sun while enjoying the city's waterfront views.
Shop My Look
The downtown core is fairly compact and easy to get around, though there are a number of fairly steep hills, even right within the central business district.
Wandering around town, we had to stop by the sky tower for me (although we didn't take the elevator ride up in the interest of time)...
...and Tiffany's for Bettina (although we didn't enter the store in the interest of our future travel budget).
We spent some time relaxing in the sun at Albert Park before heading back down to the waterfront to have lunch at one of the restaurants we were eyeing earlier in the day.
Of course, no meal is complete without ice cream and I simply couldn't resist stopping by the Island Gelato Company and trying a scoop or two of their salted caramel.
We also talked to some of the locals about their ice cream preferences. Turns out, any would do!
Auckland has a fair amount of urban sprawl around the harbour and hills in the area. Hiking the hills are another one of the must-do activities here. We decided to "hike" up Mount Eden, which was steeper than it looked but well worth the views from the top!
You can see the entire downtown core of the city with the harbour and surrounding hills as a backdrop. A little bit further south is One Tree Hill (yes, that One Tree Hill of U2 fame) which we also enjoyed hiking to the top of for a different perspective of the city. Not only does this hill have great views, but also flocks of sheep happily grazing around the park.
It wasn’t long before we had to head towards the airport for our flight back home, but not before a stop at one of Bettina’s favourite stores of all-time – Forever New. She went a little bit crazy and bought as many clothes and shoes as she could possibly fit into her carry-on (and the remaining room in mine!).
With Auckland having the largest airport in New Zealand, it is likely you will begin or end your trip here, and it provides a great taste of metropolitan New Zealand. There are so many other sights to see in and around Auckland, such as taking one of the many ferries to a nearby island, that our one day visit wasn't quite enough and we will no doubt be back.
Which of our days in New Zealand / blog posts did you like best? We're curious. Let us know in the comments below!
What about these ones?