The day was finally here! Nick and I were flying to New Zealand for our honeymoon! It could not have come at a better time. Nick had just finished up a crazy quarter in his MBA program. He was looking forward to a break from work and school, and we were ready to spend some much-needed time together.
Nick doesn’t take many pictures with his phone or of everyday things. I think it annoys him a little bit when I am constantly taking pictures of random things like coffee and food. But when we are on vacation, he loves getting out the camera. His favorite thing is to have us take a selfie when we start something – a hike, a plane ride, anything. The beginning of something is always a great feeling, so I like this tradition. So here is our plane selfie!
We had a perfect flight that I got to sleep whole way though, so when we landed in Auckland at around 7:00 am, I was ready for our adventure in Middle-earth to begin.
To plan or not to plan was the question for Auckland. Should I research all of the best brunch spots, coffee shops, and attractions? Or should we just wing it?
I thought that if I did all of this research, I would just end up at the most touristy spots, the places everyone goes. I also was kind of overwhelmed with researching Auckland, trying to narrow down to things do do in just one day.
We were going to be on what seemed like a tight schedule for the rest of our time in New Zealand, so a day to do anything that came our way sounded like a good way to start our trip. We decided to just wing it. This is kind of a crazy thing for me to do – to just get off a plane and see what happens. I am a huge over planner, and here I was going to Auckland without just one thing planned (we’ll get to that later!).
We got to our hotel, Hotel DeBrett, around 9:00 am. Our room wasn’t ready, but the receptionist took our bags and brought us up to their lounge to change and get ourselves ready for a day.
Side note: When I went into the coffee shop and asked for coffee, the barista asked me what kind I wanted. I was a bit confused by this until I realized that most cafes don’t serve regular drip coffee – New Zealand is all about the fancy coffees like flat whites, cappuccinos, and mocaccinos. I quickly adapted.
After breakfast, we walked around, checking out all of the little side streets, places to eat, and this independent bookstore that had a fun, eclectic collection of books for sale. There were of course tons of tourists everywhere, but I really enjoyed walking around and just getting a feel for New Zealand. And trying to remember to keep to the left!
We kept walking until we stumbled upon the Auckland Art Gallery and decided to check it out. It was free! There was a huge collection of art, from New Zealand and all over the world. We spent a few hours just walking around.
We went back to a place that we thought looked interesting earlier. We got a bunch of small plates because we wanted to try all of the things. After we were done eating, I just had to take a picture of Nick in front of the restaurant because he loved it so much.
The one thing we did research about Auckland was where we should eat dinner. Food is clearly the most important thing for us. Nick was thrilled when he discovered The French Cafe in Auckland. We decided to go all out with a bunch of little courses. I kind of wanted to take a picture of every single course, but I decided to just savor the moment and the food!Nick and I purposely only spent one day in Auckland so that we could make our way to the national parks, wine country, and outdoorsy stuff, the places we came to New Zealand for.
Neither of us are really into cities, but I enjoyed Auckland a lot. It set the tone for our whole trip – a mixture of relaxing and adventuring, great food and coffee, and lots of cute little spots.
We spent exactly 24 hours in Auckland. The next day we left early to catch a ferry to Waiheke Island so that we could drink wine, relax, and eat more good food. Our time on Waiheke Island was one of my favorite days ever, and I can’t wait to share photos from it with you.
Are you a planner, or do you like to wing it when you are on vacation?