To celebrate my birthday whilst also having a holiday and catching up with family and friends I spent six days in Auckland. Here is what I got up to!
I flew up to Auckland in the afternoon and bused into the city with my friend Lauren where we met our friend Rachel who lives in Auckland for university.
As it was Lauren’s birthday and the day after mine Rachel made us a cake!
Before going to Hozier’s concert we had an early dinner at Al’s Deli.
I had a vegan burger with a falafel patty and loads of hummus.
Pre-Hozier selfie with my fave girls.
Hozier was an amazing show, he had a band of about 8 others and they were all very talented musicians. The harmonies were unbelievable. The highlight was In A Week, which is one of my favourite Hozier songs, which he performed with Karen Cowley (one of his back up singers who sings it on the album). The recording just doesn’t do it justice. Even better, she replied to our tweet later!
We went out for a few drinks and a bit of a dance after the show but we were pretty tired and my feet were so dead. So we ate donuts on Rachel’s bed at 12am…
The next morning we had an awesome brunch at Kokako, a really cool cafe just down the road from Rachel’s flat. I was super excited to see Jesse Mulligan (New Zealand comedian) getting his morning coffee, but Rachel said spotting New Zealand celebrities is pretty normal in the area.
It was honestly one of the best brunches I’ve ever had, and I like to think of myself as a bit of a brunch connoisseur.
I had ‘The Hash’; a potato and carrot hash with avocado, beetroot chutney, a poached egg and hollandaise. Look at that egg though…
After breakfast I spent most of the day exploring all the shops along K Road and Queen Street. Whilst I’ve been to Auckland a number of times I’d never spent a lot of time in the central area. There were so many cool shops to look at.
An awesome mural in St Kevin’s Arcade.
I had a low key dinner down at the waterfront, the sky was so beautiful and the ferry building looked awesome.
Dessert at Milse. This was the ‘Beetroot’ dish; rich chocolate tart with beetroot chips, a crunchy crumb, beetroot sponge, black pepper gel and goat’s cheese ice cream. It was certainly an interesting eating experience.
I ended up walking about 10km this day, so the night was spent watching all the Friday night comedy shows on TV3 with Rachel’s flatmates. If you haven’t seen Funny Girls you should definitely check it out on demand!
Saturday was another beautiful day so I walked to Ponsonby to go to the Little Bird Unbakery. I missed a turn off and ended up going a slightly less direct route but stumbled across a Douglas Street, and as Douglas is my surname, it made it worthwhile.
I’ve been following Little Bird on social media for a while and have the cookbook so it was exciting to finally get to try their food. All of their food is raw, organic and vegan. (note: although I ate a lot of vegan food in Auckland, I am not vegan. I am a meat eater but dairy free). I had the berry and macadamia grawnola and a antioxidising smoothie with blackcurrant, acai and berries.
I window-shopped my way down Ponsonby Road, I’ve become a bit obsessed with beautiful homewares and there were plenty to look at. I then hopped on a bus into the Victoria Park Markets, which were reopening for the first time that day. My only purchase was this awesome necklace from The Good Jewellery Company. It was only $10 and is the sign language symbol for love, as it’s something I often do at concerts I thought it was a great token to remember my Auckland trip and the other concerts I’ve been to this year.
After the market I was walking back into the city to the bus stop when I accidentally found Best Ugly Bagels. I’d heard of them before and was looking for a small (and cheap) lunch. So a bagel with Pics Peanut Butter for $5 was perfect!
In the afternoon my Grandparents picked me up and we drove back to their house on the Whangaparoa Peninsula, about an hour north of the Harbour Bridge. I spent the rest of the day chilling out and recovering from my two whirlwind city days.
Sunday was a pretty chilled out day, my Grandparents took my out for a birthday lunch and then we spent the afternoon at their local beach, Stanmore Bay. It was an opportunity to rock my City Chic bikini that I love so much.
I had two separate naps in the sun but it was so hot that I had to have a quick dip to cool down. I certainly didn’t last long but it’s an achievement to be in the New Zealand ocean in early November!
Monday was a switch back into a busy schedule. My Grandparents dropped my in Devonport to stay with my cousins for my last two nights. I then met the lovely Laura who runs the blog Laura Laura at Little and Friday for lunch. It was my first time ever meeting up with another blogger/internet friend in person so I was a little nervous but there was absolutely no reason to be. I had a broccolini and tofu salad and a chocolate peanut butter donut, both of which were delicious.
After lunch my friend Emma picked me up and we did some exploring on the North Shore. We stood under the Harbour Bridge at Northcote and went for a walk along Long Bay Beach and got an ice cream. It was a great way to spend an afternoon, as once again I was seeing a new part of Auckland.
Monday night I had dinner in with my cousins, nothing like my godmother’s lasagna!
Tuesday was my last full day, in the morning I went with my cousin whilst she bought a new iPhone (very jealous!) and then shopping at Newmarket.
Most of the shops were not exactly in my price range but it was nice to wander. I had lunch at Wagamama, one of my favourite restaurants I’m definitely missing not living in Wellington any more.
I bused back into Britomart and stopped into the mini Little Bird Unbakery to get some raw cake I hadn’t had room for earlier. I had the Passionfruit and Coconut ‘Cheesecake’.
Dinner was leftover pad thai for lunch then my cousin Meg, her friend Clare and I headed to Vector Arena to see Mumford and Sons. The show was absolutely amazing and we managed to get very close to the front. There will be more to come about the show next week!
On Wednesday I flew home to Christchurch. It was an awesome trip all around, so much delicious food, good company and the unbelievable experience of seeing two incredible live acts.