Out and about in Auckland

This afternoon we finally picked a used car car to use for travels! It is a 1997 Mitsubishi Legnum Station wagon. It was a little more than what we had planned on spending but it should be a very useful car and it certainly felt a lot more durable/reliable while driving than other model cars we has tried. It was at the mechanics and we picked it up not long ago. Fuel is $1.70 a litre here! Argh!

Yesterday Fem and I went up the Auckland Skytower, which is similar to the Sydney Centerpoint. It was well worth the trip as we had an awesome day for it, and was able to see for extremely long distances in all directions.

They even have glass floors in their elevators and in sections of the walkway.
Even after a while I was still not comfortable standing on it. As I recently got some new sneakers which are nice and bouncy. When I was on glass sections of the walkway my brain was telling me it was the glass that was bouncy and not my shoes!
Fem had a great time and was even jumping on the glass after a while!

Below is one of the many shots I got from the sky tower. I will update my photo gallery soon and display all the shots!

Last night we went to a local comedy club where we got to see 10 new NZ comedians. Most were pretty good, and they had an excellent female comedian MC.
Also with the seating for the night, we were literally right in front of the stage! With Fem and I right in front of them, all the comedians could easily see us, and as a result we got spoken to a fair bit through out the night.
A sample was:

Female MC (looking at me): Whoa! What’s your name?
Me: Um.. Matt
Female MC: Where are you from?
Me: What?
Femke: He’s from Australia.
Female MC: Ahh.. I see you have bought an interpreter!

Funny stuff. 🙂

Got a lot happening over the next week as we do a coast to coast hike at Auckland and start our 6 day trip to Wellington! So stay tuned for more!

Setting up base camp

Well, I have arrived in Auckland with no dramas (many thanks Julia!). Met up with Femke who was extremely happy to see me!

Have not taken any photos yet, the first few days have been just setting up, doing some shopping and getting some much needed rest and down time.

One of the things I have been up to was looking for a car and some hiking clothes for me. I had incorrectly assumed that the big and tall shops in Auckland would have lots of hiking clothes for bigger guys as there are a lot of “Big maoris” here.
This is unfortunately not the case, so after spending all of Sunday afternoon going to all the general hiking shops in the city and finding most jackets and pants are just too small I was wondering if I would be able to find something that would fit me!
On Monday, I found (according to them) the biggest big and tall shop in NZ, where I found one jacket which would be just suitable for hiking. So that issue was finally solved.

On the car front, we are still looking. We went to a backpacker car mart and out of about 25 vehicles, found one Nissan station wagon that would be suitable. We were just not sure about the
engine so we wanted to look a little further just to get some comparisons. Turns out there is only one other car mart, but it’s out in the suburbs and we would not be able to walk there. So I am going to scope out the second hand car dealerships in Auckland CBD and see what options we have there. Failing that we’ll have another look at the car mart and maybe even get that Nissan if it’s still for sale and after a good mechanical check.

Fem finishes her work tomorrow afternoon and we will be leaving Auckland to go south on the 29th.

So that’s all for now. I am certainly getting a good taste of the Auckland weather (hint: it’s rainy and windy). But I am definitely not missing the humidity of the Brisbane climate!
Till next time!

A Grand Adventure!

Just a few hours to go!

I am just finishing off the final packing before I get on a plane at 9:30am (have to be at the airport at 6:30am though… argh..) to fly to Auckland to meet up with my girl Femke.

We will then travel as backpackers through New Zealand on both north and south islands and explore the wonderfully photographic country together!

It should be the most fascinating time of my life. Well I better finish off the packing!

Will post more articles soon. Stay tuned!