As much as we would love to travel at a leisurely pace, sometimes busy schedules simply get the better of us. Coming to conclusion of our New Zealand travel series, we drove from Rotorua to Auckland and stayed there for two days. Despite our packed time frame, it appeared luck was on our side as we landed on Auckland's door on the occasion of the Auckland Anniversary. If you haven't been blessed with such timing though, worry not as there is still plenty to do and see in Auckland!
There is plenty to do around Auckland in short day trips and one thing you can cover is Waitomo Glowworm Caves which we stopped by on our drive from Rotorua to Auckland. Although we don't have any photographs to capture the moment, wandering gently along the stream inside the caves, surrounded by millions of glittering glowworms was certainly a postcard moment. You get to do a short tour of the caves itself and then onto a small boat ride to see the glowworms. The eerily quiet atmosphere, complete with a cool breeze to drive us along, made for a surprisingly calming experience. We came out the other side, feeling blessed and full of wanderlust.
1. Moving onto what you can explore within the realms of Auckland, we start of with an iconic part of the city's skyline, the Sky Tower. The tower is unmistakable with its brightly lit up silhouette following us as we wandered around town. For a closer look, we went into the casino to soak in the urban atmosphere and if you like your meals served with a side of incredible panoramic views, the revolving restaurant is the place for you.
2. For those of us who'll much rather pass up on the $72pp buffet menu, panoramic views don't have to come with a price tag! Head over to Mount Eden and enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland from the highest natural point in the city. As Auckland's metropolitan center is founded atop a volcanic field, a hike on Mount Eden or a drive up to the top will offer plenty of green volcanic cones in sight.
3. Wandering through any city in my eyes is the best way to soak in the atmosphere and the same is true for Auckland. A stroll on the bustling Queen Street offers plenty to satisfy both the foodies and the shopaholics.
4. After a dose of the urban, if you're looking to unveil the vintage side of Auckland, explore the quaint little Parnell village, commonly touted as the oldest suburb in the city. Wander through the rays of boutiques and make it a quick lunch date while you're there.
5. As Sydneysiders, I suppose you could say we search for the familiar sight of the harbour wherever we go. Having arrived during the Auckland anniversary celebrations, the harbourside atmosphere was amped up with plenty to do and see. We had lunch by the water following a stroll through a vintage car exhibition and followed it up by exploring the carnival set up alongside the water.