Auckland was my least favourite place in NZ. Why? Auckland is a concrete jungle in a environmental paradise. You are thrown back into high rise buildings, bustling motorways and garish chain stores. A rude awakening. Some areas outside of Auckland are pretty quaint village towns with lovely independent cafe’s and boutique shops, like in Northhead or Mt.Victoria, and the harbour has fancy restaurants with rewarding views over the harbour, I still don’t like Auckland. Taking a free city tour with the Kiwi Experience Bus allowed me to see the whole of Auckland and why it was named the “City of Sails“, which still left me feeling empty and disappointed at the most populated city in NZ. It looked like any other city, no unique flair or character, and so unlike the rest of the beautiful country of NZ. Head out of Auckland as quick as you can, to see what the rest of NZ has to offer.
Bay Of Islands:
Included in my Kiwi Experience Bus Pass was the Bay Of Islands tour which takes you right up to the northern part of NZ, Cape Reinga. We stayed in Fusion Hostel in Bay of Islands where the beach was a short walk away and was a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Auckland. Bay of Islands seemed to be a holiday destination that resembled the beaches of the Philippines, with its 144 islands, one is transported to the white sandy beaches of Asia. However, here there is much more scope for water activities, fishing and sailing to be had. Leaving the spectacular beauty of Bay of Islands behind, Cape Reinga is at the most northern tip of North Island and is used as an entrance post of the material world, to the spiritual world. It is incredible to see the blue horizon link with the land of the north where a twisted and ancient tree sits right by the sea. Here, we were told is where Maori spirits come to when they pass away, to jump off into the other world and meet with their ancestors from Hawaii.
This insightful and peaceful location, to me, is was one of the most beautiful and serene places in the world, and it made me jealous that this would be the last place they see of earth.