Splashes of Colours

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In love with Auckland – Day 9

Last day in New Zealand. Just when we  started to love the relaxing and fantastic weather, it poured heavily on our last day. But we tried not to let it dampen our spirit. It was our last day, and there was no way we would allow ourselves to miss Rangitoto and Devonport. So when the ticketing officer looked at us as if we had lost our mind, we bought the ferry tickets to Rangitoto and Devonport.

When we alighted from the ferry, a long queue was formed, all waiting to board the return ferry to Auckland city. Except a handful of silly people like us, who braved through the rain and got ourselves totally drenched.

However, dearest was very happy to be there. He was smiling all the way and agreed that Rangitoto was an enchanting place. As it was a volcano, it was black rocks and soil all over. Actually you can spend the entire day exploring Rangitoto, but because of the downpour, we decided to just track up to the summit and return before the 3.30 pm ferry went off.

love my hubby the most!

After that, a short walk around Devonport, and still the rain did not stop.

i just couldnt stop eating

With that, our Auckland journey came to a stop. We generally love Auckland, but will want to visit the Southern New Zealand the next time round.



In love with Auckland – Day 8

Bush and Beach full day tour to Coromandel. We added this tour at the eleventh minute, because the hot air balloon activity was cancelled due to bad weather. *Sigh* Just when I had managed to convinced my dear that it was not extremely scary, Mother Nature still denied us our chance. Well, I must take my words back. Hot air balloon is of course not very safe. The very next week when we returned home, an accident which caused all onboard to die happened near the area in North NZ.

Anyway, I digress.

Bush and Beach brought us to our first stop – Hot Water Beach with its hot spring in the middle of the beach.

Dear trying to feel some heart from underground

A short drive away was Cathedral Cove, where the Pacific Ocean washes through a natural arch onto a white sandy beach backed by white cliffs. There was a half hour downhill walk to the beach from here which also meant that the walk back was uphill. *smile*

These are the ancient Kauri trees. Our guide shared how these trees could grow taller if they are growing in small cluster, with the rest of the Kauri trees. And that it was very rare to see a single huge tree soaring upwards. After some thoughts, don’t you think this applies the same to human beings as well? We might grow better when we have our peers with us.

A 90-minute drive south-east of Auckland was Coromandel’s main town, Thames. Then the spectacular western coast road leads you to Coromandel township where renowned New Zealand potter, Barry Brickell has his studio. Ride his own designed and built mountain railway system on a memorable journey through the rugged landscape.

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In love with Auckland – Day 7

A day to chill and relax. No itinerary to follow, and we had all the time in Auckland. 🙂

A short bus ride brought us to Newmarket. Very cool place to do some shopping. A funkier place than Queen street, definitely. And of course always cherish coffee/drink/alcohol time with my dear.

Anyway it was a weekday, so I was quite puzzled when the cafe was quite crowded. I wondered if these people did not need to work, and just happened to be on leave too. *shrug*

During our journey, we had met some tourists and locals, and all of them recommended us to visit the Auckland Museum. Since it was an easy walk from Newmarket, we must not miss it.

A wingless gigantic bird. There were, and still are, moments when wingless birds appeared in my mind, and I almost wanted to laugh out loud. Ok, not really laughing out loud, but the chicky feeling that how could it possible to have birds without wings. I mean, Kiwi is one of the wingless birds. They are more than flightless, they are WINGLESS. At least penguins can TRY to fly. Have you thought of how these birds would  feel? … Do they feel handicapped?

On our way to Wintergarden, I saw magnificent trees on the widest grass field ever …. with sky so blue, I wonder how would I want to live anywhere else.

The Wintergarden was a refreshing place to visit. It certainly had the power to splash some colours to your life.

interesting tree .. will never see such a thing in Singapore, because in no time, it will be littered with rubbish and bred pests.

My first time. I actually felt safe enough to lie on this grass field…. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G

To end off the day, we took a bus ride to K Road (K Road = Karangahape Road) and Ponsonby Road. WARNING: it is a long long walk from K Road to Ponsonby. Absolutely do-able, but please give yourself enough time and make sure you are well-fed to survive the long walk.

We rested for a while in an ice-cream shop and saw a gorgeous church. It was quite cool though, it housed a beer cafe. OKAY, don’t ask me why a beer place can be named as a cafe…. the owner of the shop must have their own reasons!

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In love with Auckland – Day 6

We signed up for a full day wine tour. Our first stop was a visit to Kumeu River. Their white wine was very good, and so we decided to get one bottle for ourselves in the evening. 🙂

After that we visited Muriwai black sand surf beach and see the gannet colony. We were in luck, it was the nesting season for the birds.

We saw the Muriwai black sand beach. As New Zealand is an island with so many volcanoes, it is not uncommon to see black sand beaches.

We wanted to visit the Puhoi Cheese factory, but we were late and thus not in time.

Of course not forgetting the 850 year old Kauri tree.

Then we ended off with the little quaint Matakan village. 🙂

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In love with Auckland – Day 5

Last day on Waiheke Island, we have to visit the famous No. 1 Mudbrick vineyard. I know why some people would give them the title, must be due to the ambience (atas feeling) and the enclosed area.

I made a reservation for both of us, and walked all the way from Onera town. Once we entered the restaurant, we felt very underdressed. It was puzzling, because the guests at the other vineyards were happily casually clad. In the end, we finished our meal (their lamb were not as good as Stonyridge) and brought our drinks outside.


The map of the small island. The places we have been to were identified with red stars.


In love with Auckland – Day 4

Day 4 marked the second part of our journey. Waiheke Island is a popular short escape for the New Zealanders, not many tourists yet. I did enough research to occupy ourselves for 2 days 1 night.

The main attractions were the vineyards, which were spread across in front of me. And the best restaurant was in Stonyridge vineyard. The lamb was …. obsolutely heavenly. The marsh potatoes was cooked with truffle, and if you don’t know what truffle can do to a dish, go find such a dish and indulge yourself. 5 stars for Stonyridge!

We intended to have some high tea at Casa Miro vineyard too, but it was closed. Silly me, of all research, I missed out taking note of the opening days of the vineyards. It was still a nice pleasant uphill climb to Miro, so we were super heart-broken because of the long walk.

We continued our journey on foot to the Onetangi beach, and took a short break at Charlie Farley.

When majority of the shops closed at 5 ish pm and we both were a teeny weeny tired of fish and chips, dear decided to cook up a simple meal for two. 🙂

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In love with Auckland – Day 3


We booked a whole day tour with Grayline to go to Waitomo cave. No photography allowed, but it was quite mesmerizing (although it covers just a small area).


The rest of the group visited the Agrodome, but we chose to have a dip at the Polynesian Spa. The varying temperature of the pools provides a good spa experience. But I always prefer to stay in the warmer pools.

Highlight of the day was a visit to Te Puia, home of New Zealand’s Maori Arts and Crafts. There was a short Maori Cultural Performance. Highlights include a welcome Powhiri, Haka, Poi Dance and Stick Games.

Perhaps our karma was really good, the geysers were spilling its heart out while we were there. 🙂


And these boiling mud puddles was claimed to be good for the skin, and one can purchase some at the souvenir shop (of course lah.)