My first time back in Auckland since visiting in 2016. I am spending two days here before heading to Fiji for an 8-day trip and then coming back to Auckland. I didnโ€™t have much of a plan for my time in Auckland before heading to Fiji, the only reason I came here was I was able to save money on the flight and got an extra two days of vacation instead of flying direct from Christchurch.

Day 1 โ€“ Arrival & Walk the City 06.26.2019

I arrived in the afternoon and took the SkyBus to my hostel, I stayed at YHA Auckland City Backpackers. The city center is far enough from the airport that if youโ€™re by yourself traveling by Skybus is significantly cheaper than traveling by Uber. The cost is NZD one way, buy online before you arrive and you save a few dollars.

The hostel is in a good location and it is a short walk to Auckland Central and the Quays. Nothing else to really report on here. Below are a few photos I took walking around the city.

Day 2 โ€“ Waiheke Island 06.27.2019

When I was in Auckland back in 2016 we avoided Waiheke island, since we were told it was going to be much better in Summer. So I figured I would take a full day to check this place out. Walking my way down to the ferry I decided to head over to Albert Park. This location has a great shot of the Auckland Skyline.

Then when I got to Albert Park I started walking over to Auckland Domain, this is a very nice park and worth a walk around. Needing to catchy my ferry soon I took the train from Grafton noticed a train, I was bored so I thought I would check the train out and take Auckland Central. All super interesting stuff, right? Anyway, for those curious, the train was very clean and efficient and the cost is NZD 4.

There are two options to take the ferry over, one with SeaLink and the other with Fullers360. I took the Fullers360 ferry to Waiheke Island the cost is NZD 42 round trip and takes 40 minutes. Once you arrive you have a few options to travel around the island. There is a city bus that you can pay for as you go and there is a hop on and hop off bus. I choose to try the city bus out, especially since I planned to just go and have lunch and relax.

The cost to take the hop-on-hop-off bus is NZD 26 and the cost for the city-style bus is NZD 10, with the two stops I took. Taking the city-style bus you need to pay attention to where you want to get off because the city bus doesnโ€™t stop at every vineyard, beach, town and there are multiple city buses so you might need to transfer. I found the bus that was going to take me to a more quiet area of Waiheke Island with less foot traffic.

I went out towards the North Central part of the island and had lunch at The Boathouse Waiheke Island. There isnโ€™t too much to do here but the restaurant has a nice deck overlooking the beach.

Day 3 โ€“ Auckland Sky Tower 06.28.2019

My flight to Fiji is in the afternoon so I figured I would go up the Auckland Sky Tower for a second time. Since I am here in New Zealand for my Masterโ€™s I get to take advantage of the student prices to up the Tower. The cost is NZD 32. With my mum planning to arrive in Auckland next week I decided not to check out all four floors of the Sky Tower instead I went to the top and took some photos of the city and bay. Off to Fiji and then back to Auckland in Week.

Day 4 โ€“ Wine & Arrows 07.07.2019

I arrived late last night from Fiji and then met my mum early in the morning at 05:00. This time staying at an Airbnb instead of a hostel, you can check out the place I stayed at here. If youโ€™re new to Airbnb be sure to use my $50 off referral code. Now being in Auckland for the third time, I decided to let her pick what to do. She wanted to do some wine tasting.

We took the same Ferry over but this time bought the hop-on-hop-off bus tickets. We went to Tantalus Estate and had some wine and lunch. Then we went to do some archery and wine tasting at Wild on Waiheke. This was a neat experience, the archery cost NZD 37.50.

There is so much to do on Waiheke Island and I highly recommend going, we wanted to do the zipline but theyโ€™re fully booked. There are some great hikes there too. Iโ€™ll be back someday to knock some of those off the list.

Day 5 โ€“ Sky Tower Again 07.08.2019

Third time at the Auckland Sky Tower but this time I checked out all the levels, so a bit different. At the top, you can have your photo taken to make it look like youโ€™re hovering above the city skyline. After the sky tower, we went to my favorite spot to take photos of the skyline, which is the North Wharf.

Heading off to the Thames to check out the Coromandel.

Thanks for reading & liking my posts, cheers!

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