I’ve finally managed to sift through the pictures of our two week adventure in New Zealand, and break everything up into digestible diary like guides to attempt to try and document (and articulate) everything we did during our wonderful 14 day tour. Looking back, it feels like a bit of a whirlwind, and I’m already having to check whether we actually went, saw and ate half of the things we did (I promise it wasn’t just Cookie Time)…
Anyway, today I thought I’d wind things back to the very beginning- to our first day in beautiful Auckland. Although this was the only part of the north island that we ticked off during our stay, it quickly became one of my favourite places- and even from only really experiencing the city for 24 hours, it really gave off a certain vibe and established itself as somewhere I’m already keen to go back to and see more of (yup, I’d even do the plane journey to see it again).
We stayed just off of Ponsonby Road, and even after driving to our hotel for the night I knew it was the kind of place I’d quickly warm to. With a mix of charming Victorian villa architecture and more modern contemporary builds- the area had a real buzz of life to it, without losing any of its more old style charm. We managed to see a few pockets of the city in a whistle-stop tour, and also visited K Road, soaked up the blue-skied views of the harbor (one remedy for jet lag if ever there was one) and caught some rays on the grass of Bastion point and the Michael Joseph Savage memorial too.
The first meal we had in Auckland, and arguably one of my favourites. Maybe it was the jet lag or maybe it was just delicious (I’m going with the latter), but I was such a fan of the menu here and the vast selection of South East Asian fusion and sharing dishes. It was so gorgeous being able to sit curb side and tuck in, and I’d even recommend just heading here for the gorgeous bar too.
Okay, so maybe I’m cheating a little as we didn’t actually get to go here, but after spotting this place in St. Kevin’s Arcade on the way to dinner and doing a bit of research it seems like somewhere I wish was closer to home. Maybe I’ve been a sucker for the branding and cute-as-a-button name, but the brunch menu here looked absolutely amazing, not to mention their cinnamon scrolls and bacon baps- mmmm….
So! The reason we were in St. Kevin’s Arcade in the first place. I am a bit of a sucker for good Lebanese food, and everything on this menu from the fattouch to the shish was fresh, full of flavour and delicious. With a lot of places we went to, the menu was sharing style- but here you can also ask them to ‘bring’ and you are surprised with some of their favourite dishes, which is so lovely too.
Being near the hotel, we spent a little strolling up and down Ponsonby Road, which came highly recommended and holds home to some of Auckland’s coolest boutiques and shops. Although we only had a little time, I’ve popped down two of my favourites- and know you could definitely mooch the whole street and find plenty more.
If you’re a fan of thoughtful home wares and carefully selected interiors, then Everyday-Needs is one for any lists. Stocking a mix of one off pieces not to be found elsewhere, as well as native brands and specially selected imports- the selection here is absolutely gorgeous, and you can pick up everything from coffee table books, ceramics and skincare- dreamy.
Superette was the shop we liked so much we went back twice in two cities. With five locations across New Zealand, the brand stocks a huge selection of designers across fashion and lifestyle including Lack of Colour (our initial reason to pop in), Frame, Zimmermann, Lover the Label and so many more. I managed to dig out some incredible New Zealand beauty brands here, and it took a lot of control to not have a total spree.
If like us you were short on time but hungry to tick as much off as possible I can highly recommend one of the cities bus or private tours. I’ve always worried this seems like a bit of a cliché ~tourist~ option, but it’s such an amazing way of getting your bearings in a city and sometimes being able to see some of the best bits, without having to break a sweat! We went with Bush and Beach and can highly recommend (especially if you want time to hop off and take snaps too)!
Stay tuned for the next part of our journey this week- heading to Abel Tasman…
I was a guest of Tourism New Zealand, but all thoughts, opinions and love of NZ are my own