Wednesday, September 18, 2013

One Day only at Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland was the second leg of our ultra long range flight (MEL-AKL-MEL). When I was a kid, I would always incorporate the words cow and milk to New Zealand (the country became known to me in that way) because Anchor, a brand of milk was so popular in the Philippines. I've read once that cows outnumbered people in NZ.

According to the Tourism website of Auckland (source:

Europeans first laid eyes on Aotearoa (New Zealand) on 13 December 1642, when the great Dutch explorer Abel Tasman caught sight of the west coast of the South Island. After a skirmish with local Maori, he sailed on, never setting foot on land, however his 'footprint' still lies in the name he gave Aotearoa - New Zealand. 

The next Europeans to visit Aotearoa/New Zealand came under the stewardship of the famous English mariner, Captain James Cook, who in 1769 visited the South Pacific in order to study the passage of Venus across the disc of the sun.

News of Cook's 'discovery' spread fast and in the ensuing years early settlers began arriving in New Zealand in search of timber, flax for ropes, and whales for the production of oil. These early visitors, who sometimes settled, brought with them western materials such as tools and muskets, as well as alcohol and disease. Of all these imports, disease and muskets were the two which had the most devastating effect on the indigenous Maori population. However it was confusion and miscommunication over land ownership that was to have the biggest and most wide ranging effect on the traditional Maori way of life.
We had a day of stay at Auckland. I decided to visit Auckland Central alone at night (Queen Street in particular) since it was the nearest place to be from our hotel.  It was cold as I walked around the area but I just thought of this: "mind over matter" or else I won't be maximizing the hours we have there. 

Queen Street was a commercial road in Auckland Central.  I've seen several shops, fast food chains and restaurants along the way. The big designer brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci were part of the main strip.  I've seen two boutiques of Louis Vuitton and Gucci while walking around and I don't know if there were more than that. 

Let me share with you a few photos of what I've seen along the way:

Town Hall

Keep Calm and Eat Hot Dogs :P

LV and Gucci stores
I just had around 2 hours of sight seeing at Auckland. I planned  to come back at the hotel early so I could have enough time to rest and prepare for another walkathon to downtown when morning comes.

My batch mate and I went together and continued our sight seeing around Queen Street.  We both wanted to see the iconic Sky Tower (the tallest man-made structure built at New Zealand) so we explored how we could get there. Luckily, it wasn't hard to get there but what made us challenged was how we could ever get a good photo of each of us with the Sky Tower in the background lol.

After our Sky Tower-photo-op, we decided to find our way back to Queens Street and look for a food court.  Getting back  was a tempting journey because we've passed by so many shops (Cotton On, Supre, etc.) and seen so many things that we wanted to buy but I asked myself: "Do I really need it?" Impulsive buying was not in my vocabulary in the Philippines so I won't spend much if it's not really a necessity. I knew I could get cheaper things on my other layovers :)

I consider Auckland as simple and laid-back. I saw the downtown as a not-so-stressful place to be with. I enjoyed my layover there. I still have another Auckland flight by the end of the month and I would try to see other parts of the city.  I just hope the rain would not be so imminent by the time I would get back so it would be easier for me to take a walk and just do sight seeing. 

If you're planning to visit Auckland, wear something that will keep you warm.



Anonymous said...

Hi jo camet :) have you fulfilled your dreams already? :) happy for you!

Joanne Camet on 3:27 PM said...

Thank you :)

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