Auckland & Waiheke Island, New Zealand
And so, part two of our journey begins. Hello, New Zealand! We arrived in sunny Auckland, exhausted but eager to start our 100-day journey. We dragged ourselves to our Airbnb loft in one of the coolest neighborhoods in Auckland - right by the new Britomart, situated between the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland’s lower CBD. The waterfront precinct has chic restaurants, cafés, outdoor bars, and fancy shopping (Chanel, anyone? Hey Avery, can you just…okay great thanks!).
On Saturdays, they have a super sweet market by the Britomart, selling produce, bread, crèpes, and all types of food trucks - even takoyaki and arepas! (If you read my post about Osaka, you know I’ve reached my limit with takoyaki - so I went with the breakfast arepas and they were top notch). The range of ethnic food really shows throughout Auckland. We ate Indian, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern. I fully recommend Café Hanoi - super tasty cocktails and the right portion of mains (anything from the Old Quarter section of the menu is bomb). If you’ve got a fancier budget, check out Soul Bar & Bistro or any of the other restaurants around the Viaduct Harbor.
We only planned to be in Auckland for two nights but we wanted to do a day trip to Waiheke Island, known for its endless wineries and beaches. Take the ferry for a short 45 minute ride to vino paradise! It was a beautiful day and Avery was craving some beach time. Unfortunately, it wasn’t warm enough to go swimming, but we still enjoyed Onetagi Beach, the largest beach on the island with the cleanest white sand. Right on the water was Charlie Farley’s - ordered a DELICIOUS Thai Beef Salad. Nothing better than eating and drinking right by the water.
You can’t go to Waiheke Island without visiting one of their 92 wineries on the island. If you’re feeling festive, you can visit Cable Bay Vineyard for a killer view that comes with a price though. We opted for Stonyridge Vineyard, taking a very scenic walk from the beach winding our way through the small island to the vineyard. They had a pretty stellar Sauvignon Blanc tasting deal of three wines for $6. A steal!
The next day, we had some time to spare before getting on the bus to Rotorua, so we decided to check out the infamous Sky Tower. As the world’s 25th tallest building, there are two levels of Observation Decks plus a café. For the adrenaline junkies, this is the spot for you - you can either walk around the perimeter of the building at 192m high (or 60 stories). Or, if that’s not enough for you, you can literally jump off the building, simulating a base jump right in the middle of New Zealand’s most bustling city. Side note: the café has pretty dank gelato - get the Hokey Pokey. It’s honeycomb flavor. Not gonna lie, I can be a sucker for some hipster flavors.