As we’re still waiting for it to get a bit warmer before we head off to go diving/snorkelling/boating and other summery things, we decided we’d go on a little trip to Auckland.
We’ll probably do a bunch more Auckland trips as there’s just so much to see and do over there.
Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and is situated between two harbours. On this trip we wanted to explore both nature and city life, so we booked an Airbnb in Titirangi, which is right in between the Waitakare Ranges and the Auckland city centre.
We started off with a visit to Auckland Zoo. I’m usually not a big fan of zoos; they’re often quite depressing. However, I had heard good things about AKL Zoo and the way the animals are treated there. We noticed the zoo and the exhibits were very well maintained and there were zookeepers walking around everywhere to share their knowledge about the animals and even let you pet some of them (lizards, birds etc.)
After that we made our way to Victoria Skatepark, where Justin went for a short ride on his bmx as I sat in the corner awkwardly ‘reading my book’. At night we went for dinner at Scarlett Slimm’s & Lucky in Mt Eden, a tiny restaurant/bar that serves awesome burgers.
The next day we had decided to stay away from the city and headed off to ‘Mokoroa Falls’ and Muriwai Beach. Mokoroa Falls is about a 45-minute drive away from Auckland city and is accessible from a well-maintained walking track that takes about 40 minutes to the upper viewing platform. From the lookout, stairs brought us down to the base of the waterfalls. WaterfallS you say? Yes, plural. Mokoroa Falls actually consists of two waterfalls – Houheria Stream Falls and Mokoroa Falls itself. I’ve said it before but this was yet another spot that made us feel like a T-Rex could come stomping out of the woods at any moment.
Our next stop was Muriwai Beach, which is a black sand surf beach on Auckland’s west coast. It is home to the famous cliff-top gannet colony, where about 1200 pairs of gannets nest from August to March. This has to be one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever visited; I really do hope all the Chinese tourists (all 5 million of them) that were there managed to see a bit of the amazing view from their own eyes instead of just from their camera lenses.
Underneath the cliff we found a cave, which was great, because there wasn’t a camera-hoarding, umbrella-swinging, personal space-disrespecting tourist in sight. Perfect spot to let our minds go blank and forget about the violent camera/umbrella abuse we had just witnessed.
The next days we spent exploring the city a bit more. We didn’t really take any pictures because we’re not that much into city photography, maybe something to look into next time.
If we’re friends on Facebook you’ve probably already rolled your eyes at this, but in case we’re not; we made it to the front page of the Bay Of Plenty Times. A reporter for the BOP Times approached me on Instagram to ask about my experience at Omanawa Falls. She interviewed me on the phone and the next week we were surprised to find our photo on the cover! Pretty cool. Here’s the link to the article for those interested.