Day Two: Auckland

Slept like a baby last night! Our upgraded suite came with aromatherapy pillow spray so whether we fell asleep because of the spray or if it was because of our traveling but it was nice to wake up refreshed. Our shower is one that is over a bathtub which I don’t mind but, the shower head on the wall faces downwards and is for shorter people so you are almost pressed up against the wall in a squatting position just to wet the top of your head. We went downstairs for our buffet breakfast and it was a vast display of things. We started with croissants and apricot jam then the English breakfast of bacon (that wasn’t very nice) and scrambled eggs. Finished with cream cheese on a bagel and a feijoa smoothie. We shared the plate so we only had little bits here and there. We headed back to our room and relaxed while waiting for the family. Outside it’s raining quite heavily so we might need to purchase an umbrella!

We went downstairs and waited for the family to arrive. It was great seeing them all again and meeting the youngest brother! They spent about an hour freshening up before we made our way into the city. We walked along Federal Street towards Sky City Tower and stopped into Depot Eatery that was a hipster sharing platter restaurant. We got an array of tapas plates including slow cooked pork with crackling, hãpuka fish with eggplant chutney, fish sliders with lemon mayonnaise and yams and broccoli. We were extremely full and we didn't even finish the pork!

We then walked along Queens Street (busiest street in Auckland) and around the wharf and ended up back at the tower. This time we ventured inside and bought tickets to go up top. The Sky Tower took close to three years to construct and officially opened in 1997. It is 328 metres high and the views from two seperate levels are wonderful. Despite only having a population of 1.3 million, Auckland is very spread out and houses are as far as the eye could see.

Back at the hotel, the others were wrecked. It was a long day for them. Jip and I sat in the lobby to think about what we should do as it was only 5.30pm. In Auckland they have a service that involves picking up and dropping off electric scooters throughout the city. You can pick one up by scanning the barcode on the handle bars and it will start charging you $0.15 per minute. Within the city centre itself, it is limited to 16 km/hr and outside of those city parameters we got up to about 27 km/hr. In our little New Zealand guide, it recommended going to an Italian restaurant by the name of Non Solo Pizza in the suburb of Parnell. With our trusty scooters, it took us 22 minutes each way. The restaurant was a bit of an odd one in that it was situated at the back of another restaurant that you had to walk through but the restaurant at the back was quite fancy. We both ordered pasta dishes. Jip ordered the pappardelle pasta with lamb ragu and I had linguine with chilli and prawns. The food was very very delicious and it was worth the journey out there. Not to mention, the waiter reminded me of Valentino Rossi.

On the journey back we went to Auckland's oldest bar called The Shakespeare and it has been established since 1898. We were both hoping to get the tasting paddle of their own five beers but all the taps were down except for IPA and pale ale. To make up for the lack of beer, we shared a warmed chocolate brownie and ice cream and had one of the beers each. At around 8:30 p.m, we decided to make our way back to the hotel and relax for the rest of the evening which was probably a good thing as it started to rain soon after. Early start tomorrow, we will be driving all the way north to the very tip.