Have I told you lately how much I love living in Auckland? And it’s not just because I kinda ‘found myself’ here or because I’ve made friends here or the fact that I love my apartment.
I didn’t like Auckland when I first arrived. I didn’t even want to. But I’ve grown to love so much about this city that I hadn’t noticed before. So now, after 7 months of living here (7 months! Where does the time go?!) I bring you….
7 things to love about living in Auckland
1. The sunsets
I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere where the sunsets have been so pink and vibrant. I mean, the sunsets in St Kilda were stunning and I love a beach sunset as much as the next person but Auckland has made me see that a city sunset can be just as beautiful.
2. The street art
You think of awesome street art this side of the world you think…..Melbourne. Yes, Melbourne has awesome street art. Did I mention how much I love Melbourne too? Anyway, Auckland also has awesome street art and it’s literally everywhere; from graffiti and sculptures to quirky street art and paintings.
3. Cheap, amazing food
Obviously when I say ‘cheap’ I mean cheap for this side of the world. New Zealand and Australia are not places to travel if you begrudge paying more than $1 for a meal. If you’re not adverse to paying $10 – $15 for a meal though you’re definitely in luck.
Auckland’s full of little Japanese restaurants where you’ll get a huge bowl of noodles for $11 or foodcourts where I got the best Pad Kee Mao I’ve had in my life for $14. Food in Auckland is cheap and, most importantly, amazing.
4. You can pay for anything on your eftpos card
Because I’m working in New Zealand as well as travelling I opened a bank account when I got here. At first I wasn’t impressed that, unlike a visa debit card, an eftpos can only be used in shops and not online. What’s the point in that?! I’ve since gotten a visa debit card but still use my eftpos card for most purchases.
Why? Because you can literally buy anything with it. There’s none of this ‘minimum spend’ malarky with an eftpos card which makes life much much easier.
5. My favourite Lorne St cafe
There’s something really satisfying about finding a cafe which not only does a great breakfast but also a fantastic cup of coffee. I’ve been trying to give up coffee (for reasons I’m still not entirely sure of….) but I’m putting that resolution on the backburner until I find some other (legal) stimulant that’s going to stop me falling asleep at my desk.
Sierra Cafe on Lorne St isn’t just my favourite cafe because of the caffeine and food though. I love sitting outside and people-watching, or reading the newspaper or studying for my TEFL course. I love coming here on a Sunday morning.
6. The easy day trips
Both Rangitoto Island and Waiheke Island give stunning views of the city and are accessible by ferry from Auckland city. Piha beach (as seen on Piha Rescue – a bit like Bondi Rescue but…….not) is a half hour drive from the city and definitely worth hiring a car for and Mission Bay is perfect for sunday afternoon barbecues in the sun.
7. The architecture
I don’t know a lot about architecture, let’s be honest here, but I do know an awesome building when I see one which in Auckland is a lot of the time. Old buildings are my thing (see what I mean? “Old buildings” – I know nothing) and there are plenty of those in the city.
Britomart, where you’ll find the city’s main train station, dominates the bottom of Queen St. The Civic Theatre wouldn’t look out of place on the west-end – its old-fashioned design stands tall on the corner of Wellesley St and Queen.
The Smith and Caughey building – or more precisely, the back of the Smith and Caughey building on Elliot St reminds me of the apartment block in friends and even though Auckland Town Hall is made of limestone it doesn’t look out of place in the modern Aotea Square.
If you’ve been to Auckland, what do you love about it?