An Adventure in Middle Earth - Auckland

 

When Rob and I first planned our wedding we had this conversation:

Me: "Let's elope in New Zealand!" 

Rob: "How about Canada and we honeymoon in New Zealand?" 

Me: "Deal! Wedding planning DONE!" 

Or at least something like that. 

Weddings are pricey, even elopements. We combined our honeymooning with our one year anniversary and all of our problems were solved! Not really, but New Zealand was absolutely magical. 

Disclaimer: I took at least three trillion photos on our trip, so I split them into posts by city. That way, when you read this on your phone in the bathroom at work it doesn't break (we all do it).

A few things about our trip:

  1. The two week trip was split between Auckland, Rotorua, Queenstown, and Christchurch, each for four days.
  2. We used AirBnB and in some cities we had the place to ourselves, in others we didn't; awesome decision. 
  3. We had very few things to do planed for our trip. The first day in each city we picked what we'd do there. 
  4. Ninety-seven percent of what I learned in New Zealand came from a bus driver. He talked for almost three hours about the politics, economics, history, geography, and culture in New Zealand. Rob and I were cracking up the whole ride in the back of the bus. My favorite part was him pointing out the TipTop factory where "New Zealand's favorite ice cream flavor, Hokey Pokey" is made. For the record, it's delicious.

City One: Auckland

We landed in New Zealand's biggest city, after nineteen hours of traveling, with no plans except food. Rob picked out a place called Raw Power (which didn't giving me the warm and fuzzies, I needed real food). I am SO happy we went because it turned out to be the best place we ate in New Zealand. We ate there EVERY SINGLE DAY in Auckland. Everywhere we ate tasted fantastic. Auckland in general was pretty fantastic.

It was Spring and the weather was just starting to warm up (40-60ish degrees) so all the little restaurants left the doors wide open. I loved how many people walked around the sometimes very rainy and hilly streets. Everywhere we went there were coffee shops and sushi restaurants down tiny alleyways. We ended up walking 10-12 miles a day through parks, art museums, war memorials, and busy streets. We even walked up to the rim of a volcano (I had to google if it was an actual volcano or not. All the signs said crater; sort of misleading. Rob was right).

This is the first post of our trip to New Zealand. Don't miss the Hobbiton post!

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Here's the low down on our favorite places:

Sunflower Thai Vegetarian - Only eating here once is one of my greatest regrets. The pad thai was spicy and amazing. Rob hasn't stopped talking about how fluffy and delicious the curry puffs were since we came home.

Raw Power - No joke, this is my favorite place I've ever eaten at with my vegan husband. I tried something new everyday and was impressed every time. The pancakes with grilled bananas were my favorite. Rob says the tofu scramble tastes like Thanksgiving.

Mojo - My favorite chai latte in New Zealand; sweet with a little cinnamon and sugar on the top. So good. This place is adorable and they bring sparkling water to everybody. All around win. We went to this location.

Renkon - I kept harassing Rob about eating noodles for dinner. This tiny Japanese food place was cheap and delicious. I loved the spicy pork miso udon noodles and Rob had veggie miso udon noodles. 

Burger Fuel - This is a fast food burger place with vegan friendly burgers. Aioli comes with everything in this country (not so vegan but super delicious). Rob bent his rules a bit.

We visited Mount Eden, the Sky Tower, the war memorial, Auckland Art Museum, the harbor, and took a walk on Lovers Lane through the Auckland Domain.