We traded 28 degrees and sun for 13 degrees and rain in going from Fiji to Auckland. We found our driver to take us to our hotel, the Sebel Auckland Viaduct Harbour. It is nice not having to figure out transportation from a new airport in a city we don’t know.

The hotel is right downtown but on the water in an area that is full of restaurants and shops. It’s quite a bit different than the resort we just left, but nice still the same. Both Deanna and I were struck how much Auckland reminded us of Vancouver. Big city, rainy, on the water etc. Lots of energy and people around.

Wander around downtown

We dropped off our bags and headed out for a bit of an explore. Queens Street was not far from the hotel and is a shopping area. If you’re looking for your designer duds, shoes etc., you’ll find them on this street. We had a late lunch at giraffe an interesting little place just outside the door of our hotel. We caught them between lunch and dinner so they were only serving a limited menu. Deanna had some local oysters and I had a ‘French Onion Fondue’, which was served with some nice bread. More of a dip than a fondue and quite tasty.

Breakfast, Classic Yachts and Ukulele

Sunday dawned with clear skies and the promise of a slightly warmer day. I headed out to find a grocery store and bakery for some breakfast. Lots of folks around downtown Auckland on a Sunday morning.

While we were out last night, we noticed signs for classic yacht races. Unfortunately nothing was scheduled for the time we were there, but they had four yachts in the marina by the hotel. They were open for anyone to come aboard and have a look around. The one we visited was originally built in 1903, beautifully kept up/restored. It still sees lots of action.

Deanna was missing her ukulele and found a music store a 15 minute walk from the hotel.

Bush and Beach Tour

We were picked up at our hotel for our first official outing in New Zealand. The Bush and Beach Wilderness Experience Nature tour. We joined another 12 or so tourists for an afternoon of walking in a nature park, visiting waterfalls and beaches. It was a good experience and I would recommend it if you’re looking for an afternoon activity in Auckland.

Dinner was at Oyster and Chop which was very good.