Day One: Across the Ditch

Up at 7am to get ready for our Uber driver at 7.50am, We still had a few little things to pack as well as shower. It was a quick run into the airport and before we knew it, we had checked in our luggage and our bags weighed 13kg and 16.5kg.

At the gate, we ate our breakfast of cheese and bacon rolls from bakers delight and some chocolate brownie with fruit. When we boarded we were seated in the middle section of aisle 34. Our flight was not completely full, there were a few empty seats that people tried to use to lay down. Our lunchtime meal came out rather quickly. I had fish with a creamy lemon and dill sauce with sugar snap peas and sweet potato mash and Jip had the chipotle chicken with saffron rice. Our dessert was a Weis boysenberry ice cream that was really delicious.

Our flight was 2 hours and 40 minutes and it was very smooth the whole way. When we were going through customs at Auckland airport, we put our passports in the machine and it came up with the question if we had been convicted of any criminal offences and when Jip and I both pressed no, we were denied access and had to present to a customs officer. It was really odd as we seemed to be the only ones affected. We got our bags and made our way into the fresh air! For $19 each, we boarded a skybus into the city centre.

Our hotel, the Crowne Plaza, is really easy to locate within the city centre as it is situated right next to the Skycity Tower that sticks out in the middle of the city!. On check-in we were pleased to find out that our room had been upgraded so we were now on the 24th floor with views out of two sides. We put our luggage down and sat on the bed and we heard this banging sound and I had this horrible vision that it was the air conditioning system within the room that was making sounds but it was actually fireworks at the wharf that seemed to go off as soon as we got into our room and we had perfect views. It was meant to be!

Downstairs next to the lobby was this cute little Japanese restaurant. It smelled delicious so we decided to have some dinner there. I had sweet corn butter ramen and Jip had spicy noodles with vegetables and we shared some takoyaki balls. Not to mention a couple of glasses of plum wine and sake.

We walked along Albert Street towards the wharf and had a look around there including a few souvenir shops selling sheep and alpaca products and then walked up a street that the Skycity tower was along. A lot of places had already closed even though it was only 8 p.m. but of course the Skycity casino was open so we popped in there and had a look around. On our way back to the hotel we realised that we didn't have our room key so back to reception we went! The others arrive tomorrow morning after breakfast so at least Jip and I get to have a sleep in before the excitement!