So many people I have met travelling have said ‘yeah Auckland is OK, not great’ I then ask if they got out of the city and 90% of the time it is a no. I come from the eastern suburb of Howick, it is on a peninsula which means one thing only…beaches and lots of them! There is Eastern Beach, Bucklands Beach, Howick Beach, Cockle Bay Beach…you get the drift. The western beaches of Piha, Muriwai and Bethels are also fantastic wild west beaches with black sand and plenty of surf. The beaches closer to town in Mission Bay and St Heliers are also gorgeous but a little over crowded on the weekends and even further afield but still only a 30 minute drive from East Auckland is Maraetai Beach.
|St Heliers Beach|
2. Waiheke Island
I have been going to Waiheke Island for as long as I can remember, it was our annual summer holiday and I have the fondest memories of my childhood there. Waiheke is known for its vineyards, beaches and now fancy houses. Having once been a hippy retreat from Auckland, more recently it has turned into the island of the ‘rich and famous in New Zealand’. There are too many beaches to choose from and now plenty of cafes, restaurants and wineries. The wine tasting is cheap and most vineyards have incredible pieces of land and there’s no many places in the world I’d rather be sipping a wine.
It is a short 45 minute ferry from Half Moon Bay on SeaLink (my Mum works there) if you are taking a car or a passenger ferry goes from town from Fullers.
3. Small population
Now when I lived in Auckland I used to think it was busy but after living in London I know realise this isn’t the case. For the most populated city in the country there is still plenty of green space, most people live in a house that is detached and pretty much everyone drives a car (except morning traffic it isn’t so bad). Auckland is a small place, you’re guaranteed to see some one you know at the supermarket or local pub.
4. Just beautiful
It really did take me to travel the world to realise how stunning Auckland actually is. It is surrounded by water and volcanoes. The views from many places in Auckland are breath-taking and are something that should never be taken for granted.
|Browns Island & Rangitoto|
|View from North Head – Devenport|
|View from Bastion Point – Mission Bay|
|View from Cable Bay Vineyard – Waiheke|
5. Friendly kiwis
Everyone is New Zealand is generally pretty friendly. From the border control at the airport to the owner of your local dairy. You can always count on a smile and a greeting and a bit of a chat. Kiwis sure know how to make people feel welcome! Even though Auckland is a big city and the rest of New Zealand likes to call us Aucklanders Jafas (Just another f***in’ Aucklander) we are all a good bunch!
There is so much to see and do in Auckland and for me it was the perfect place to grow up and I’m sure the perfect place to settle down in once I am done living in London.