New Zealand – Auckland (22 – 24 February)

First, as the background info that our flights from Florida to New Zealand lasted nearly 3 days. First, we flew from Florida to LA, where we waited half a night for the next flight. Then we flew to Hawaii, where we also spent one night waiting for the next flight. Overnight at Hawaii Honolulu Airport was quite comical, as it is not allowed to stay at the airport indoors for the night, and everybody waiting for the early flight were directed to the special outside under roof area. There they recorded everybody’s names and flight numbers. This is because to avoid gathering the homeless people there. Pictures say more than a thousand words here … Fortunately, at least Hawaiian airline flights were very comfortable.

We landed in Auckland on Friday night. That’s why we were very happy that our Couchsurfing host Chris came to meet us at the airport. Otherwise, we would have had to spend at least a couple of hours with public transport and would have arrived perhaps before midnight. Chris has a big house where he lives alone and so he has enough room to often accommodate several couchsurfers at once. So, in addition to us, there were 2 more girls from Germany and 2 girls from Chile.

Luckily, we were in Auckland for the weekend, so Chris had time to spend the whole weekend with us and showed us around. On Saturday, he took us to see one beautiful waterfall and a beautiful beach. Chilean girls came with us too. Together we had a fun time, it was pretty nice and we enjoyed the whole day, despite the fact that the weather did not favor us and it was a little rainy.

In the evening, we made dinner for the whole company, Jaanus made the mussels, and Kaija cooked the moussaka.

On Sunday we had to go to pick up our rental car. Namely, we found the relocation opportunity and got a free campervan for 5 days to transport the vehicle from Auckland to Christchurch. On Saturday night, we were still quite worried and overwhelmed because we would have had to go pick up the car right after 8 in the morning. At the same time, we didn’t want to get Chris up early on Sunday and getting there by public transport would have been very difficult. In New Zealand, the public transport system is not the best and it is quite difficult to drive without a car. Jaanus was even ready to go by bike, but because the Chris bike was broken then that plan did not work either. Fortunately, the rental company agreed that we could also pick it up the afternoon. It left us enough time to conquer one of the Auckland volcanoes with Chris and Chilean girls before.

So we got the car just after noon. To our surprise, one Estonian girl was working in the rental company. She was just very happy to speak again in Estonian and Estonian. So we got the introduction of the bus in our mother’s language. She also gave us a lot of advice, where and what to see in the north island

To sum up, we liked the surroundings and nature of Auckland, and the surrounding jungle was very impressive. Unfortunately, we did not have time to get to know the city of Auckland, but the smarter ones have said that we didn’t miss anything special and Auckland is like any other big city. So we weren’t very sad because of it. So from Sunday afternoon, we started our 5-day campervan trip to Christchurch, but more about it in our next post

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