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Just arrived in Auckland

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Just arrived in Auckland

1. Posted by Peroni (Budding Member, 9 posts) 27 Nov '12 00:27

Hi!

I'm Lizzie, I'm 22 from England and going to be travelling around New Zealand and Australia for a year or so on working holiday visas. I landed in Auckland a week ago, and luckily have family to stay with and use as a base up in Devonport. Have just started to get my bearings and understand my way around, and I'm going to start looking for a job, but I wondered if any of you have any tips of places to meet people, or good bars or cafes in the city center? :) Also - top places to visit while I'm in north island?

Thanks :D xxxx

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Nov-2012, at 00:28 by Peroni ]

2. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3533 posts) 27 Nov '12 01:22

Hi Lizzie

Below Auckland Central Backpackers on Queen Street there is a place called Globe Bar which is very backpacker -oriented and seems quite lively. Head further up Queen Street and you'll eventually get to Karangahape Road (K-Road) which has some nice little cafes, bars and shops. Ponsonby is a lovely suburb and also has some lovely bars, cafes and restaurants as well as some nice shops. Kinglsand and Mt Eden are also good places for drinks in the evenings.

I'd recommend Rotorua, Wellington, Whakatane (to see White Island, an active volcano), Raglan, Taupo, (don't miss Huka falls) The Coromandel, the Bay of Islands and Cape Reinga. If you're working in Auckland you can see lots at weekends - for example Waiheke, Tiritiri Matangi and Rangitoto are some of the islands surrounding Auckland and are lovely. Great Barrier Island is also supposed to be nice but I never made it there even though I lived in Auckland for 5 years!

Let me know if you need any more tips about Auckland. Have fun!

Edit: Oh and how could I forget to recommend the Tongariro crossing - probably the best thing I did in New Zealand! It's an amazing walk with stunning views and takes around 7 hours.

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Nov-2012, at 01:33 by bex76 ]

3. Posted by Andyf (Respected Member, 261 posts) 27 Nov '12 12:21

A couple of things to add to Bex's great suggestions...

Napier fell down in a 1930s earthquake so was rebuilt in the style of the time - Art Deco. Great walking tour if you like architecture.

If the Tongariro Crossing sounds a bit athletic for you, you could climb Mount Ruapehu fairly easily as the chairlift goes most of the way.

In Coromandel there's a great miniature railway built by a mad artist - Driving Creek Railway.

If you're a Lord of the Rings fan I'd recommend both the Hobbiton movie set tour, near Matamata, and a stay at the Hobbit motels at Woodlyn Park near Otorohanga / Waitomo caves.

4. Posted by bex76 (Moderator, 3533 posts) 27 Nov '12 12:54

Quoting Andyf

A couple of things to add to Bex's great suggestions...

Napier fell down in a 1930s earthquake so was rebuilt in the style of the time - Art Deco. Great walking tour if you like architecture.

I agree, Napier is lovely, and I found the walking tour interesting. I'd also recommend taking an organised tour of the local wineries - the area is pretty and it's a nice way to spend a few hours.

5. Posted by Peroni (Budding Member, 9 posts) 27 Nov '12 19:50

Oh wow! Thanks for those suggestions, they're really helpful! I'm heading over to Auckland tomorrow morning to have a look around so will make sure I check out Queen Street and K-Road while I'm there!
Rotorua is on my list of things to do, and you've both cemented it now. I can do the hobbiton tour from there (BIG Lotr fan) and it seems like if I stay 3 or 4 nights in a hostel there that there is plenty to keep myself occupied!

The walks and the climbs sound just up my street too so will get researching those asap!

Thanks so much for being so helpful, if you think of anything else let me know!

Lizzie xx

6. Posted by Andyf (Respected Member, 261 posts) 27 Nov '12 23:57

Luxor, if walks and climbs are your thing can I suggest the heli hike trips on fox glacier? It's South Island though...

Rotorua won't disappoint. Better geothermal stuff to see and do than Yellowstone or Iceland, in my opinion, and the Maori culture aspect gives it added dimension.

7. Posted by Andyf (Respected Member, 261 posts) 27 Nov '12 23:59

Flamin spellchecker turned Lizzie to Luxor - sorry! And I don't have an edit option on a smartphone.

8. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member, 314 posts) 28 Nov '12 02:00

I lived and worked in Auckland for about four months at the end of 2010/start of 2011. Mount Eden is well worth a visit, it is a bit of a climb to the top, but an amazing view once you get there, you can also stop and have a look around the outside of Mount Eden Stadium (where the Rugby World Cup Final was held in 2011) on the way back. It is also near to Kingsland that Bex mentioned as being a good place to visit for drinks in the evening – the Kingslander is a lively pub and worth a look.

To echo others comments here Taupo is lovely, and I did some white water rafting just outside Taupo which was fantastic. I also hired a car and drove to Matamata to visit the set of the Hobbit and even as a non LOTR fan I found it fascinating. Bay of Islands is very picturesque too and there are a good selection of hostels in Pahia. Tongariro Crossing is amazing (and even better if you get decent weather) too.

I wasn’t sure of Auckland on my first visit, but when I returned about 18 months later and spent a bit more time there I loved it. Enjoy!

Post 9 was removed by a moderator
10. Posted by Borisborough (Full Member, 113 posts) 28 Nov '12 18:57

If you do go up Mount Eden, have a wander through Mt Eden village. Circus Circus sells what I think is the best coffee in the world - I'm in there regularly for a triple shot long black. And from Devonport you could take the ferry over to Rangitoto (probably via the city) and climb up there - on a sunny day there are great views of both Auckland and the gulf. And if you can get transport a trip over the west side through the Waitakeres to the black and wild beaches of Piha, Karekare and Bethell's is well worth it.