Monday, December 5, 2011

New Zealand (Auckland)

We finished off our New Zealand trip in its capital city, Auckland (Edit, I was recently imformed Wellington is actually the capital of New Zealand...ignorant Americans!). Downtown Auckland was like a a smaller version of Sydney (smaller city, smaller bridge, smaller tower). Don't get me wrong, Auckland was amazing in its own way and the two probably shouldn't be compared.

We were trying to find our way out to the western beaches of Auckland by using our incredibly UNdetailed map of New Zealand. When the highway that we thought might go there was closed due to construction we just headed west on some surface streets hoping to see some signs. After three miles of no signs I pulled over at a gas station for some directions. I asked a heavily tatooed gentleman who just finished filling up his car how to get there. He told me that it was way too complicated to describe the route, but if I followed his car he would lead us to the turn off.

Leah and I decided that he was either really nice or going to kill us. Either way, we followed him through several turns and for several miles to an unpopulated area. Then he pulled over and got out of his car. I got out to meet him and...

He turned out to be just really nice. He said "I had you follow me because that was the most dangerous neighborhood in Auckland. Gang members like to beat up people in groups (groups of gang members not groups of people) for fun." He pointed us on our way and off he went. As you can see we made it. Thank you random stranger! Don't judge a book by its cover.

Piha Beach at sunset. It is a beautiful black sand beach on New Zealands's west coast. The waves rolling in were enormous and they rolled (I would guess) 200 yards up the huge flat beach making for really cool reflective pictures. Leah put the ones I like on her facebook page.

Like most places/beaches in New Zealand...we were the only ones there.

Lovely lady likes long walks on the beach. 

As the sun was setting. Have I already mentioned this beach was beautiful?

Leah trying to time a picture me jumping off of this pole. Strangely, one of my better photographs. Very natural looking. In case you were wondering that is Lion Rock in the background (the same rock used at the beginning of Lion King).

Sippin on a 40
Sippin on a 40
Aye Yo lets roll to the store
Eazy E so we can buy us some L&P
40 oz. gettin' a buzz with the thuggz
In New Zealand the soda of choice is called Lemon & Paeroa or L&P. It's like nothing I've ever had and it's actually quite tasty! We poured a little out for the homies back in the know...keepin' it real.

The north side of Piha. That black sand was the softest I've ever felt (maybe tied with Aruba's, it's hard remember sand softness)

Leah on Karekare Beach. If you look closely there a couple of people on the background. That's why this photo is so special.

Leah about to hop on the trolley in Auckland next to the fish market.  We've never ridden on the trollies in San Francisco though. Go figure.

Inside of the fish market. The fresh fish sampler is particularly is the free wifi! That was one high-tech fish market.

"My name's Leah. I wear motorcycle jackets even though I don't own a motorcycle."

Oh this place was so cool! The Devonport neighborhood in Auckland is where they grow all those mushrooms that Nintendo uses for all of its Super Mario Bros games. Leah ate one and she immediately grew to 4 times my height. Finally! I can fulfill my amazon woman fantasy! Alas, it had to remain just that. Unfortunately, Leah tripped over a turtle after a couple of steps and shrunk down to her normal size before I could take a picture and get her back in the campervan.

Devonport Hill.

This was just some wall we walked passed with some lady standing in front of it.


  1. Motorcycle Jacket!? What? I didn't look like a biker chick did I? I wish we had a 3rd person to take pictures for us. You were always behind the camera!! I like the Mario reference.. classic! Leah

  2. Aw...I'm sorry to hear you had a negative-ish experience in Auckland -- NZ is so safe compared to other places I've visited...but I guess there's a rough spot, it's West AK. Glad you found a good bloke to sort you out.

    P.S. Auckland's the biggest, but Wellington's the capital -- you'll have to come back and visit it! :D