Sunday, 15 June 2014

Full Circle

And I'm back in Auckland! Where I started my New Zealand adventure a month ago. I've finished the Kiwi Experience now, and I've got three days left until I fly to Melbourne on Thursday. It was nice because I was the first person on the Kiwi bus when I started, and I was the last person off when I got back here.

Auckland is a good place to spend a few days. It's New Zealand's biggest city, with a third of the country's entire population living here. But it still doesn't feel busy or crowded in the centre. I think it's quite spread out. There's plenty to see and do, but so far I've been content just to wander round the centre and enjoy being in a city again. Even Wellington feels like a town. But I have been used to sprawling Latin American metropolises. 

It's properly winter now, being mid-June, and yet Auckland is 18 degrees and sunny. This is British summer! If this was my winter I'd have nothing to complain about. But it is weird that there are ice rinks up and winter lights, but it's not Christmas. It feels very incongruous. Southern hemisphere problems. 

Parts of Auckland remind me a lot of my hometown of Birmingham, so it's nice to have some familiarity around me. 

It's also very multi-cultural, with a large population of Pacific islanders and Asian people. There are so many Korean and Japanese restaurants around, I'm in heaven! If only my budget would stretch to eating out for every meal. 

I was worried that my last week here would be dull, but I met a great group of people in Taupo a few days ago and most of them are in Auckland for a few days like me. So it's been a lot of fun. Tomorrow I think I'll do the Sky Tower, the southern hemisphere's tallest building, and possibly take a ferry to New Zealand's answer to the Hamptons, Waiheke Island, on Wednesday. 

I've got to enjoy my last few days of freedom before I land in Melbourne and have to find me one of those job things people keep talking about. 

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