My initial reaction to Auckland is that it has a cool vibe. It kind of reminds me of Sydney but with a smaller town feel. I really love my hostel! It smells like a log cabin and my bunk bed for once has a reading light, outlet and a privacy curtain. I landed at 9pm so I was ready for bed, but everyone else on the block was apparently ready to rage, it’s Saturday night after all. I almost lost my love of karaoke last night while listening to the patrons singing get worse and worse until they finally closed at 3am. The singing was occasionally covered by the noise of cars drag racing. Crossing my fingers Sunday Fundays aren’t a thing here.
Friends born in New Zealand recommended I visit Waiheke island while in Auckland. So that is what I did today and I am sure glad I did! You take a ferry to the island, and then most people do a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket. I’m not a big fan of those as you always feel a bit rushed, despite them coming every 30 minutes. So instead, I rented a scooter. I ride one back home and I missed the joy of riding one! I didn’t go as fast as I typically do and I didn’t have my headphones in so it wasn’t quite the same experience. But, when driving on a windy island on the “wrong” side of the road, I wasn’t going to risk it.
I took myself on a self guided tour around the island. I first stopped in a little town to get a bottled water. Then, my tour consisted of me driving wherever I felt like it and stopping wherever I wanted to.
First stop, a cute little fisherman area.
Second stop, Stonyridge Vineyard (They had the best seating areas on the hill).
Third stop, a sandy beach (Ate some ice cream that was hokey pokey flavor, a kiwi favorite I guess. It was great).
Third stop, a lookout point.
Fourth stop, Oyster Inn where I had locally farmed Te Matuku oysters (I only started eating oysters a few years ago but these are the BEST I’ve ever had), whole grain sour dough bread paired with olive oil from olives grown on the island (super strong and spicy flavor), a delicious green salad with lemon and olive oil (I’ve been slacking on my greens), and paired of course with a Sauv Blanc from the island as well.
Considering my lack of sleep last night, I’m going to have a pretty uneventful night, probably do some laundry, put on face mask I just bought from a corner store and continue watching Sinner on Netflix. I’M ADDICTED.