Because I knew we were going to be tired I didn’t try doing much on my first day.
Getting to the hotel
To get to our hotel we used SkyBus. I booked the family ticket online because it’s cheaper and my son traveled for free. You catch the bus right outside the terminal and it takes you to downtown by Sky City. Then you must transfer to the town shuttle which takes you closer to the harbor. Because our hotel is on Viaduct Harbor there wasn’t a stop nearby but the friendly driver let us off as close to it as possible. New Zealanders are really nice. We walked the rest of the way to our hotel. The way was so beautiful. The lovely harbor with fancy yachts.
One of the things I hate about traveling is that you usually get in to a country early in the morning and you have to wait for your room to get ready. Sometimes it’s many hours. But this time it was only about 30 minutes.
I decided to pay a little extra to stay in a nicer hotel this time and it has spoiled me. The Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor is phenomenal. Our rooms are large, elegant and comfortable. Plus the service is impeccable. Other hotels need to learn from it.
After a shower and some rest we decided to explore the city. We are right in the middle of the new developments. We walked to Wynyard Quarter. There was a mini visitor center there. We talked to the nice people there and they suggested some of the places for us to visit. But we first went to Oceanz for fish and chips. It’s a hole on the wall but it has really fresh fish and it is where the locals go. Plus it is attached to the fish market. The guys got just fish, I got the fish and fried mussels. Yum!
Then we walked around the harbor all the way to the New Zealand Maritime Museum. Here they take their boating seriously. From the early Maori explorers to the America Cup sailings. It was fascinating to learn about both the evolution of sailing and the return to traditional boats.
We also walked around Queen Street with all the shops. My favorite find was in the supermarket. There are some fruits that I am not familiar with, such as feijoa.
After traveling far and walking much there is nothing better than spending some time in the pool and hot tub and the sauna. Now I am ready for bed.