My husband and I loved our visit to New Zealand so much, that we would go back in a heart beat. While we spent time touring all of North Island, our first 72 hours there convinced us that the place and people would endear us forever.
– On our first day, our hotel room was not yet ready early in the morning and we were famished. So we headed to the closest coffee shop in Parnell that was open and asked if they would accept foreign currencies or credit cards. They accepted neither, but instead of turning us away, the lady asked us to come in, eat to our heart’s content and simply pay once we had settled into our hotel. The food was simply delicious, but the hospitality extended to complete strangers from a foreign land touched our hearts.
– We stayed at Ascott Parnell, a Bed and Breakfast run at that point by a local couple. Everything about our first foray into B&B’s was welcoming. From the breakfast served in the sunroom to the daily travel tips to just the friendliness of our hosts, things could not have got off to a better start. Our life long love of Weetabix cereal commenced here as well.
– The people in Auckland are fitness fanatics. We went for runs early am along the water, we ran late at night, we walked in the afternoons. No matter what time of the day it was, people were committed to staying fit.
– The absolutely delicious meal at Portofino, a many decades old restaurant in the heart of Parnell. Our waitress was one of the best we had and her recommendation of the Montana Gisborne Chardonnay is something we have carried over the years.
– The drivers! We felt that crazy drivers just did not belong in the US. They were a universal breed and we saw plenty of them give us company and keep us on our toes.
If you have visited Auckland, we would love to hear your reactions to one of our favorite cities.