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Auckland has become the perfect jumping-off point to the South Pacific for me these past few trips. It’s the closest I can get to the islands on my RTW ticket but luckily flights are pretty cheap from Auckland to almost any destination in the Pacific.
It’s also a nice break from Asia both from a language and food perspective. And to top it off, you just can’t beat the weather. And the wine.
My final flight on Korean Airlines for this trip was perfect as always. Great service, great food and an excellent seat for sleeping. I arrived in Auckland from my 24-hour stay in Taipei feeling pretty good though with all the time zone changes lately, I think it’s starting to catch up to me.
Let’s just say my critical thinking skills aren’t quite as sharp as usual. I’m hopeful that a good meal and a good night’s sleep in a real bed will help.
For this year’s visit, I’ve been forced to try out a new hotel. Usually, I stay at the Westin or the Hilton (which are both beautiful and right on the water in Viaduct Harbour) but this year the rates at both were out of sight. (My mental threshold for hotels is about $175 unless they are located on a tropical island…or in Dubai.)
So, I resorted to my usual back-up plan – a combination of Booking.com prices and Trip Advisor reviews. Once again, that combo didn’t disappoint.
My choice for my one night stay in Auckland was the Auckland City Hotel. The location was great. Though not on the water, it was just a short 6-7 block walk away.
The room was clean, roomy and well-appointed and most importantly – the hotel had laundry facilities! I was able to do two loads of laundry and wash everything in my suitcase, hooray! The only thing missing was free-wifi but at $80/night it was still a steal.
I spent the afternoon walking around the city enjoying the 70-degree sunshine and had my favorite dinner at my favorite restaurant (Buffalo on Princes Wharf) – New Zealand green-lipped mussels and sauvignon blanc!
It was a perfect day and I finally got a good night’s sleep before heading back to the airport bright and early for my flight to Noumea, New Caledonia.