We landed Wednesday evening in Auckland and arrived at our hotel next to the airport at two in the night. We continued our good nights sleep, which got interrupted by the customs at the airport quite badly and after we had a little snack. The next day we got into the city with one of those airport buses. It was a quite convenient way into the city, even though a cab would have been almost the same price. If you pay cash. Be aware that you might have to pay some percentage extra in New Zealand for paying with your credit card.

Auckland is New Zealands’ biggest city with 1.4 Mio inhabitans. It’s close to the sea and when we arrived it was nice and sunny. Previously when Annika and me were alone, we’d sit down in a nice café or bar close to the see with a bottle of wine or a local beer and breathe the atmosphere around us, watching people, just be. With our two little ones we noticed, that it gets harder explore a new city. You are bound to day-time visits and you cannot “just be” in a new place. It’s much easier to be out in the nature. This is not bad at all just different. What we still do is, having lunch or dinner in nice, local and a little unique restaurants and doing stuff, which can be “sold” to Linnéa easily. In Auckland it was the sky tower and a nice Turkish restaurant, which offered fish and mashed potatoes - Linnéas’ favorite. Annika and me went for Hummus with Falafel, which were truly fantastic. Otherwise we went up and down the main streets of the town towards the harbor and back. That’s about it.

The next day we took over our campervan. Linnéa and me walked the 2km from the hotel to the place, where we could pick it up. I was pretty happy with it, just the storage space is really limited. After that we went straight south from the airport, after I got my Nokia phone to navigate me out of Auckland. First stop was Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula. Close to the city we found an information center in the middle of the forest, which offers some tips on short and long hiking paths and food we liked. We decided to walk to a natural pool, fed by the water of a river, where we dipped our feet into. The center itself and the forest where almost the calmest places I’ve been to in a long time. It was amazing and a pretty nice first place to stop. We continued towards Waihi beach, where we booked a campsite for two nights in advance. It was exciting to be at the sea in more than 25° C, after experiencing -15°C the week before. After the first night we just spent the day at the beach, relaxed, and organized ourselves. If you look for something like that, go there and do the same. The campsite is nice, but nothing special. You get warm showers and all the facilities you need and the beach and a cool restaurant around the corner.

Links: Airport buses Info center cormandel forest Holiday Park Waihi beach

Pool in a river
Niklas first hike in New Zealand
Magical forest

Tower in Auckland

Waihi beach

Our campervan from the inside.
Campervan from the outside :)

Hmmm…local beer.