Must-Do while in Auckland

Many things had happened since I last blogged. Inadvertently, the events ‘conspired’ to move me into New Zealand. Maybe too fast haha  😆  Nevertheless, here I am with my feet firmly planted on Auckland soil for more than 3 weeks now. Yup, it has been my dream to live here in New Zealand with my family, to enjoy the beautiful nature this wonderful place has got, and to live a life that doesn’t revolve just around work, study, shop and spend. Well… now that I am still settling into a new life here, I have met some really wonderful Kiwis (Thanks Francis and Sarah to name a few 😛 ) here who have shared some beautiful get-aways in Auckland, hot spots for locals and not-so-hot for tourists, because most of vacation travel time would be booked to tourist spots only, missing out the so many other equally good things New Zealand has to offer, if one could only take the time to look around without rushing…

Clear blue skies (though not everyday) and glistening blue seas, with the occasional puffy clouds, cool temperature and welcoming hair-rustling breeze. That’s the beauty of life. Let’s start with what’s cool within the city without the need to run outside Auckland.

1>> Not to be miss is the Auckland Domain, the green lungs of the city. Not that NZ doesn’t have any green zones around. There is plenty. And this Domain is located smack beside downtown. It features the Auckland War Memorial Museum, a very neoclassic 18th century architecture building. Really beautiful building and if one can stay until the night lights are out, it’s an amazing sight to behold! I will leave it to your individual call to step in or not. History is not a cup of coffee for everyone, though there is definitely rich historical insights about NZ to be found here 🙂  [Note that museum admission charges apply]

auckland-museum_lance-mccaughan

[Auckland Museum, taken by Lance McCaughan]

Of course, that is not all. It is a wonderful big open park space here where one can find a good spot to picnic and play with your family, or just chillax and picinic on the open greens. There is also the Domain Wintergarden which is a treasure of great historical value, displaying Victorian-style greenhouses that can grow plants that thrives from a warmer and more humid environment. If you have green-fingers, green-eyes, or love plants as much as I do …

[The panorama view of one of the Victorian greenhouse…click on the photo to see the larger version]

[That’s me with a bunch of smiley sunflowers.  😉 ]

2>> Talking about the love of the greens … or the greens that has been known to represent LOVE, we have the Dove-Myer Robinson Park located at Gladstone Road, Parnell (free admission). There we have a wide range of rose variety, different color, different rose forms, and without a doubt, the lingering rose fragrance in the air. Yes, it is roses everywhere haha! Nope, don’t ask me which variant of the rose are they. I didn’t take note of that. But the names of the roses are there for those who are into rose names  😆

[Roses at Dove-Myer Robinson Park …

some of the perfect rose forms]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And further into the park is another small but inspirational garden called Nancy Steen Garden, showcasing a country-style garden with perennials and shrubs. Further inwards would be Judges Bay, a pretty sight with a short length of enclosed beach where families gather to picnic and enjoy nature.

[View from the top of the hill overlooking Judges Bay]

3>> Stepping a little further from downtown … is a really long stretch of about 7km beautiful beaches across 3 bays end-to-end – St Helier Bay, Mission Bay & Okahu Bay! Another wonderful beach day if blessed by blue skies and cool breeze, and what’s more, it’s free access to the cool water, with restaurants, pubs and great shops just across the street. It is nothing short of a perfect setup! From most part of the bays, one can see Rangitoto Island, a scenic reserve that I would also cover in another write-up soon. With a little timing for the golden hour, one can even catch wonderful photographs that is uniquely New Zealand. Of all the 3 bays, it would be good to know that Mission Bay is the most crowded, Okahu Bay least crowded, and St Helier’s Bay has a vantage viewing point at Achilles Point, right at the far end of the bay.

[St Heliers Bay, taken by Hysen Rebell from Achilles Point]

[Okahu Bay at the fishing jetty, taken by Chris Gin at sunset]

And if beach plays or suntanning is your kind of thing, then this is the perfect getaway!!!

[Crowded beach at Mission Bay on a bright and blue sunny day where I too earned my sun-burnt respect for the sun here haha]

I will try to write again soon. New Zealand has kept me busy travelling, photographing amidst my other commitments here. Not a complaint though, I am enjoying every moment here. Till I next write, see ya!

 

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