Well since Sarah made the effort to come and see me, I thought it would be rude not to return the gesture. I don’t think I would have gone to New Zealand unless she was there, but I’m glad I did, even if it was nothing like I’d been led to believe as a child.
I got on that plane, enjoyed a rather epic safety briefing, watched some Goodfellas, and before I knew it I was landed in Auckland International Airport. For the second time, Sarah completely failed to sneak up on me and boot me up the arse, but it was good to see her nonetheless! She took me to her car, Jimmy, and gave me a quick tour of Auckland before treating me to a reet fine KURRY.
For the first day, Sarah decided to treat my inner nerd to a visit to Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology, but not before suffering the wrath of SJ for busting up her car’s stereo – thank goodness for the ol’ turn it off and on again. She knows me well anyway, this place is definitely my cup o’ tea. Steam engines, planes, motorbikes, I was in my element (or in my mint, as she would say). Just as well she likes a museum too, hey? We had a good look around, the highlight for me was of course the big steam engine. The aircraft hangar was pretty pimpin’ too. All in all, a grand day out.
That evening, Sarah’s work had their Christmas night out, which I was welcome to go. So we did! I offered to drive her home so she could
get smashed off her face enjoy a drink with her colleagues, she was pretty chuffed with that. Her colleagues are lovely though, of course I was subjected to all the usual questioning, but they are a really great bunch and I can see why Sarah loves her job so much. It was a really good night, despite Sarah’s disgust at my coordinating a smart shirt with bright Adidas trainers. Oh well 🙂
Anyone who knows Sarah knows that she’s pretty terrible at keeping a secret. She let this one slip well before we were to head off; a trip to Rotorua. We boarded Jimmy and set off. Rural New Zealand was pretty much exactly like what I thought it would be – like Scotland. Especially with town names like Huntly and Hamilton (never a dull moment). We stopped off for a bite to eat in Hamilton (never a dull moment) and carried on our merry way to Rotorua, because Hamilton (never a dull moment) is actually kinda dull.
We checked in to the hotel, a retro themed one that has nothing to do with Sarah being an auld wifie. We went for a couple o’ drinkies in the touristy bit, saw some pretty cool Japanese drumming, wandered by the lake, and went to the Polynesian Spa for a wee bit of a pamper session. It was rate fine, I tell ye. We watched the sun go down from the comfort of geothermal heated pool. Being a Friday, we were surprised how dead the touristy part got. It wasn’t late, but we had a helluva time trying to find somewhere to eat. It’s cool, we got chilli nachos from an Irish bar. Aye.
The next day we took a trip up the gondola. We bought 7 tickets each for the luge, without even knowing what the luge was properly, or whether we’d like it. Well, turns out it’s pretty much a gravity powered go-kart, and yes, we friggin’ loved it. There were three routes of varying difficulty, and I managed to convince SJ to give the advanced one a try when we were running low on tickets. She done good! I was struggling to keep up with her. Bags of fun, total going back to do it again.
After an excitin’ day of luging and lounging around, we pitched off home. I even got a shot of Jimmy. Rotorua, it’s been real!
The following next day was a scorcher, so what better time to hit up Auckland Zoo? It’s a rate good zoo, this one. Plenty big enclosures for the animals, and tons of critters to look at. Cue all the animal pictures!
We took a day off from doing anything fancy and just had a good ol’ drive around, with Sarah showing me nice places around the city and even going places she’d never been, such as Mission Bay. She showed me places she’d worked, and we ended up in Howick, which Sarah instantly fell in love with. Lovely beaches there, and the water was surprisingly warm, much warmer than any sea water I’ve come across in a long, long time.
This was inevitable! We pitched off early and got in just before a busload of tourists arrived. Sarah got us in for free on account of her being an Auckland resident. We spent hours in there, it was ace. A huge amount of things to see and fantastic variety. The first thing we came across was actually some kind of fashion display (eh…) which turned out to be awesome (eh…). Some proper Skyrim looking attire in there, pretty epic. Other highlights of the museum would include the scale shark models, the Spitfire and Zero, and the earthquake house.
Auckland City and Sky Tower
After the museum visit, we hit up Auckland city centre, a fair walk from SJ’s house. This was the first time I’d been into it properly, although Sarah had driven us through it a couple of times. It’s really cool, I’d definitely like to spend more time in it, see what it has to offer. Being right on the coast, it has a great esplanade to walk along.
After some snackage and some drinks, we made our way up the sky tower. You all know how much I like a sky tower. Auckland’s sky tower did not fail to impress. We stuck around for a really fine meal in the rotating restaurant. A pretty great way to end our last night before I return home.
So that’s almost it! Before leaving, I helped Sarah set up her Christmas tree. You can see the influence I had on it. She drove me to the airport, and I got on that big plane and made my way home.
I had an ace time in Auckland, and fortunately it won’t be long before I go back. Sarah’s birthday is in February so I’ll be flying over for that.
In other big news, I’m moving to Brisbane on Tuesday! It’s all very exciting!