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Ten and a half hours after we left Bali airport we arrived at Auckland, our first city in New Zealand. Just as we were flying over the city about to land did it hit us where we were actually landing. NZ has always been a place your dream about and hear such good things about, from friends and TV. My mum and I have always been fans of the SPCA Auckland program and to think that I was going to start here and travel for the next month through the entire North and South Islands was just unreal.
Our first impression was ‘our we back in the UK?!’. We both said exactly the same thing when we hopped on the airport bus. Flat wide roads, similar architecture and buildings and English signs! Maybe we had been in Asia too long and anything non-asian would remind us.
We stayed in a 6 person dorm in The Station Backpackers for the two nights, a nice hostel about ten minutes walk from the centre. It was the cheapest available, being cheaper to book on agoda than at the hostel, and included wifi. Some hostel don’t include wifi and then make you pay a few dollars for a few hours.
The day of our arrival we walked through Victoria street, the Main Street, and after finding our hostel we relaxed for the rest of the day, enjoying pizza from the Pizza Inn next door. Being pre-warned that NZ prices are extortionate, we managed to find cheap food, a pizza and garlic bread costing $8.
Our second day was pretty much spent dealing with the campervan, test driving, changing ownership and a visit to the warehouse to make sure we were happy with all the extras he would provide. The good things is he sets up everything for you. The morning we ventured out of Auckland he came to meet us with most of the gear, having to meet up with his friend to get the mattress, tent and fishing rod. Unfortunately meeting that day or the next didn’t work out so we bought the things ourselves and Michael reimbursed us.
Sadly we didn’t see much of Auckland, apart from strolling down the Main Street and the lovely port. But to be honest, not being major city fans, we preferred to get out of the city as soon as possible to start our road trip.