If you follow me on instagram, you might remember a series of Auckland-related spam on my stories a while back. Why, here is that same weekend but captured through my camera lens - aka 3 days worth of photos from walking up and down New Zeeland's largest city.
Saturday I resisted the urge to spend all day in bed, which is easy enough to do when one is staying at a shady hostel, and spent the day walking around the city. Following a tour from my copy of Lonely Planet's New Zealand guide City Centre Ramble, it guided me through the top sights of the town.
The first stop of the day was St Kevin's Arcade on K-Road which turned out to be a darn delight, as it was full of independent cafes, book stores and second hand gems.
I hit the streets before really doing any type of research on where to get vegan friendly grub and was thus set for a day of feeling very hangry. But then some almightly kale must have felt my despair and sent me walking straight into the all vegan bakery of Tart, located in the arcade.
They served all kinds of donuts, pastries and pies, with four different choices of plant milks for your caffeinated beverage. I had a lemon ch*cken baguette and an oat flat white, but was already planning on my next visit.
Through the arcade I continued down to Myers Park, passing palm trees and the replica of Michelangelo's Moses before reaching downtown.
After passing the Civic Theatre on Queen Street, I continued on to Khartoum Place and its tiles celebrating the Kiwi women as the first in the world to win the vote back in 1893.
Right above Khartoum Place is Auckland Art Gallery, which is admission free for all its permanent exhibits and also just a really cool building to visit. I really enjoyed the one featuring Marti Friedlander's photos from her world travels.
Just behind the gallery is Albert Park (so much in this town that is Victoria and Albert-related!!) where I was gobsmacked, as per usual, by the massive trees residing in there. They just don't make them like that in northern Sweden! *insert heart eyes emoji*
Past the University I crossed this beauty of a camouflage.
Then I got lucky once again as I stumbled over another veggie place, Raw Power Cafe, overlooking petit Vulcan Lane just in time for lunch.
Rather than spending the evening at my shabby hostel; on a whim I decided I should visit the Auckland Sky Tower whilst in town. Mainly because it is such a cool thing to say you have been to the tallest freestanding building in the Southern Hemisphere. Right?
I even managed to get a $9 discount off my ticket as I pulled out my student card from Aberdeen Uni that I still carry around. Winning!
I have never actually been up such a tourist attraction before and despite the reassuring sign proclaiming that the glass windows in the floor are just as strong as the concrete floors, there was still some strong vertigo feels going on and I could not pass said windows without my fingers clenched tightly around the side rails ... which is slightly ironic if you think about it, as I doubt that would really help me were the glass to actually crack. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
The following morning I left jetlag in bed, and got up early to catch the ferry out to Waiheke Island. With the fortunate discount at the SkyTower the night before, I asked the young lad in the ticket booth whether they did a student discount. Merely to be met by a "Only for High School Students, MADAM".
So this is what 24 and a half is like, eh!
Once on the island, I rented a bicycle as my mode of transport for the day in order to see more of it.
Yet again I managed to find a vegan friendly lunch stop at this quirky coffee shop in Oneroa.
I finished the day up at the vineyards of Church Bay before rolling down the hills back to the harbour.
Monday was designated for volcano-climbing, but after waking up with a very red, sunburnt nose from my island adventure the day before - I was in desperate need for some sun lotion. After finding out there is a place called The Vegan Shop, off to cross half of town I went.
Auckland was such an unexpected enchanter, as once I had gathered my sun block (...and chocolate bars and nutritional yeast - a girl's gotta eat!) the friendly cashier told me that if I had walked all this way out to suburbia, I should definitely pay a visit to the bakery just around the corner...
Turns out yet another Tart Bakery was to be found there. Milles grazie Auckland!
Then I set eyes on the Mount Eden summit. All of Auckland rests upon old volcanic fields and Mount Eden is one out of 53 of those.
Wouldn't want to fall down there!