Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

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Day 2

I love visiting museums. Be it a war memorial, art, music, etc… but I really love visiting museums that showcase the country’s history. New Zealand’s history is a rich and a traditional one, they have natives that started the culture through songs and dance, which is then passed down to generation to generation.

Luckily enough, not only did we get to see the items preserved in the museum, we also had a chance to watch a Maori Cultural Performance ($25 pp). I recommend going here and to see the dance, before venturing to other sites or even before you leave. It’s also beneficial to have some cultural knowledge of the place visited. There is an entrance fee of the place, I will have to get back to you on that once I get the information (to be updated).

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How awkward was I haha

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RATE: 4/5

Barclay Suites

74 Albert Street, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand

Though this suite was not luxury, it had all the necessities we needed for a short trip. A large bed, kitchen, TV and a table. I find it a waste of money spending money it on excessive things, I’d rather use the money for activities and shopping!

But yes, a pool and a sauna that is available at any accommodation does sound tempting for sure.

For three nights we only spent $313.71 for a “special deal for 2 people deluxe suite, one bedroom” though we requested for a kind size bed, because you know I like my space haha. Anyways, I think we got upgraded because we had a lounge room, own bathroom that had a laundry area. Wasn’t bad at all. The kitchen was fully equipped, with plates, silverware, coffee station, etc. The room was comfortable, quiet and had no problems what so ever.

Other bonus points was that it was literally a 2 minute walk down to Queen St (the main shopping district of Auckland). If you would like to check them out, this is their site http://www.barclaysuites.blackstone.co.nz/

RATE: 4/5

Rebo

Ground Floor, SKYCITY Atrium 
Cnr of Federal and Victoria Streets, Auckland 

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There’s only a few restaurants inside the Sky City Casino, we decided we didn’t want Asian because we’re Asian and we tried eating at the buffet but it was booked (damn!). A security guard pointed us outside to a few restaurants, which I previously read on before arriving at Auckland, but since we were lazy we opted to eat here instead. Longest reasoning haha.

This all-day-cafe turns into a fine dining restaurant by night. Dim lighted near the entrance, as you can see on the last pictures there’s a place well lit. It’s not too fancy where you have to dress up, since it was extremely cold I opted to wear something cosy but still nice. It’s contemporary design is easy on the eyes, I barely heard any background music which makes it a perfect place to have a lovely conversation. The staff were attentive… a bit. I don’t think they ever came back to refill our glasses. A young man did when he was setting up for our dessert.

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I give them a thumbs up, for not restricting their establishment to bookings only! As you can see the ranges are $18 NZ +.

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His: Moroccan seasoned lamb rump $27.50NZ  – The pumpkin puree was a perfect blend with the rump, as well as the pine nut with couscous salad, jus and watercress.

20140620_173436_resizedHers: Goat cheese and mushroom gnoochi $18.50NZ – was like melted cheese in my mouth, creamy and rich. It contained wilted baby spinach, parsley and broad beans.

20140620_180333_resizedShared: ooh unforgettable double chocolate slice, crunchy hazelnut, chocolate soil, hokey pokey ice cream. Just marvel in that presentation too!

RATE: 2/5

Leaving for Auckland, NZ

IMG_20140619_140432I always get butterflies whenever I imagine myself on an airplane, heck just being at the airport. There’s just something exciting knowing you’ll be some place different and foreign, even if the place is nationally English speaking. It’s somewhere new!

So after work I made my way to the airport, like about 5 hours before our flight (so eager haha) and waited for my partner to come along. He came and we had a quick run-around the airport. Ate at the Terrance and had a beer or two, easing up before the flight.

20140619_212256This picture does not justice to what I saw, the Auckland skyline at night was beautiful.

Took a $80 cab ride from the airport to the suite, the taxi driver I swear was driving us the long way. He was deadly quiet that I kept thinking the worst scenarios haha. If you ever take a cab ride here in Sydney, the taxi drivers are so friendly, they’ll actually talk to you and not make you feel like an intruder in their car. But he got us to the place so I guess that’s all that matters!

The houses I noticed at night, were colonial looking like. It’s like those houses you see back in World War II, British influenced homes. The roads were quiet, not much activity for a Thursday night.

Freddy’s Ice House

Princes Wharf (Next to Lenin), 201 Quay St, Auckland
Auckland Central
Auckland

20140620_155017_resizedYou can’t take a picture inside, the bar tender takes a couple for you and if you’d like to take one home it will cost you $8.00NZ for one!

Found this little treasure at the wharf down Queen St, where my partner was like “let’s go!” and I was like “ummm it’s already cold outside, why go somewhere colder?”… I guess you already know who wins haha.

A novelty experience, catered to tourists or already drunkards next door. It opens till midnight, and I remember the lovely lady who was our bar tender/photographer telling us stories of childish customers who would come in and destroy the ice sculptures inside. Don’t get me started with how much it costs to make per cube. It was like stepping into a freezer box, but with cool statues inside! Cold real cold. At the front you’re given a puffy blue jacket, gloves and there’s a bar tab inside (not a vast selection of drinks) $15NZ per cocktail.

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Entry price is $30NZ per adult… we only stayed for about 20 minutes haha why not!?

If you like the cold and would like the experience a bit of winter wonderland try out this place when you visit.

RATE: 2/5

Down Under Bar and Cafe

Auckland, New Zealand International Airport

20140622_112622_resizedThis was the last eatery place at Auckland, when we landed back in Sydney I had a cheeseburger meal (was craving badly) haha. When I looked at their website, I found out that this place just opened up a few years back.

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20140622_105447_resizedPrice range: $15 NZ +

What I really look forward to eating in cafes, is finding that their menus are simple and don’t have too much items. I’m one of those customers who takes forever, if I was given a menu with an endless list of items.

20140622_110515_resizedHis: Seared Lam $25NZ – it looks healthy right? Grilled capsicums, coriander, pinenuts, feta, olives and toasted Turkish bread

20140622_110519_resizedHers: NZ Farmer’s Breakfast $18.50 – I always go for a big breakfast anywhere I go! Got scrambled eggs, bacon, venison sausage, potato cake, grilled tomato and toast.

20140622_105703_resizedStein Lager – You cannot leave NZ without trying their beer! Light, slightly bubbly and has that sweet taste.

Once you enter, you might get a bit lost. There’s different sections, with an ongoing theme. Since the FIFA Worldcup is on, it’s great to watch it at this cafe because there’s different sections that caters to watching sports live.

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20140622_105027_resizedYou can also find a large bar in the middle. Lots of natural sunlight, perfect to wind-down before your flight.

RATE: 3/5

Auckland War Memorial Museum

The Auckland Domain, Parnell, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

One of my first attractions hitting Auckland, was the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Why not start the travel with educating myself, getting a few historical background on the land I’m stepping on!

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My partner and I thought the place would be close by, fortunately we took the taxi most of the way up because we actually saw that the museum was on top of a very large hill (looks like a dormant volcano).

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Basic layout of the museum, made it very easy for a foreigner to navigate about. I really liked the exterior of the building, because it reminded me of those British architecture back in World War I.

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I’ll update once again to get the price of the entry tickets, because above was just the price for the cultural performance. We made it on time to see a fabulous performance by the Maori performers at the museum. Man, was the harmony amazing! You can definitely see how rich their culture was, with their games, songs and dances, so beautiful.

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  I actually recorded us on the trip, so once I get the time I’ll upload. I got on where they performed a song of theirs, you’ll get to hear their wonderful voices. What me and my partner agreed on, was that their performance of the Hakka (war dance) was memorable! Seeing it live, gave the exotic and native feel very different from always watching it on TV.

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He’s checking out his new ride… haha kidding. It looks tiny here, but it’s soooo long and the carving was brilliant. Like imagine just carving away, all those intricate details damn.

So we checked out the rest of the museum, it wasn’t too large so you can finish the place in about 2 to 3 hours. A lot of Maori culture, weapons and the everyday objects they used back then. There was this Maori house they had near the exit of the museum, it required you to remove your shoes before you head inside. We didn’t go in because I wasn’t bothered to remove my shoes haha, but you see two people working on a pillar and I think they were carving.

Like I said, I’ll upload the video we took at the museum soon. Keep reading!


UPDATE:

Found  the price, and it’s $90NZ per adult. I’ve finally had the chance to upload the videos during the trip yay! I’ll upload it on another post

RATE: 3/5

Little Melba

151 Queen Street, Auckland CBD

This cafe was situated close to our accommodation, so it’s perfect for a quick in and out. It’s an establishment that uses large windows for natural sunlight, it’s quite beautiful actually. One thing I remember is that the staff are very friendly, what I mean is that they were so ever helpful. One of the waitstaff advised us that if you said you live in New Zealand, apparently you’ll get a free entry into the Auckland Museum.

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So anyways… this small cafe had a cute, minimal menu comprising what you’ll usually see at cafes. Wooden tables and metal white chairs.

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Unfortunately I forgot what this was, but I remember it had chilli!

20140620_100511_resizedTheir locally roasted coffee beans was amazing. Just look at those cappuccinos!

I ordered myself I passion-fruit muesli tub, sweet and it didn’t get stuck in my braces haha.

RATE: 2/5

Tonight

So after counting down (I even downloaded an app to count down) I’ll be going to a mini-travel for 3 days and 2 nights (barely even). No other than Australia’s next door country, New Zealand! I’m really pumped up to check out Auckland and see the site where The Hobbits lived!! Cannot contain my excitement at the moment.

Currently at work at the moment, so when it hits 12 I’ll be heading straight to the airport to check out their duty-free items and have dinner with the boyfriend. Our flight is not until 6:30 tonight, so there’s going to be so much time for me to kill. I feel really bad though, because I’m supposed to actually finish at 4:30 today but thinking that I might be late for the check-in, I had to cut my work time short. Luckily, one of the girls can take the rest of the time that I’m supposed to work today.

I always, like always feel like I forgot something. I don’t write up a list, so maybe that’s why I don’t feel too confident with my organization skills. But I think, I think! I’ve brought everything haha. I’m hoping to record some things and take a bunch of pictures, being a full tourist as well as trying to blend in as a local.

It’s so hard to find the right travel insurance at the moment, might go without one because it’s just over the weekend… but it’s international mmm.

So here’s to 3 days without the internet, the usual tv shows and instagram! I’ll post up with went down once I land back in Sydney!

 

 

 

 

Spontaneous trip booked

In just a few mintues… Where to you may ask?

Over next door to Auckland, New Zealand! The land of the sheep… and more sheep. Well there’s a lot more, but that’s what I picture at the moment. I booked with Jetstar, unluckily there was no promotions so I booked anyway. Why Auckland? Well I initially would have loved to go down south to Queenstown, but since I’m going for 3 nights (over a weekend and straight after work) I could only fit one city. I’ll still have the other cities on my travel wish-list. It’s a bit pricey to go, so I’m going to book one tour for a whole day and leave the day before free to roam about!

My partner wanted to go try some extreme activities, but since I’m on a tight budget I’ll do those other extraneous activities another time (still young!). So pumped actually, even if it’s for 3 days I’d like to use my hard-earned cash for some travelling. I do agree, to travel while you don’t have too much responsibilities. Work hard and play hard.

I’m thinking of recording my trip, not just take pictures and show you the random places we’ll go 🙂