We flew into Auckland for our 2nd Anniversary trip from Tokyo via Air New Zealand, direct, and landed around 7:30 am on May 25th. The flight was long, but it was so nice that there was an affordable direct flight! We, foolishly, took a cab from the airport to Sky City, leaving our bags at the airport to pick up later. Who wants to carry their suitcases around all day?! Well, after a $90NZD ride, we quickly learned that we needed to find a better way to return to the airport to gather our things.
(1) Weird feeling while standing on the glass bottom part of the tower (2) People jumping off the edge!
Sweet ride, bro.
We took the rent-a-car towards the airport, stopping at a few antique shop along the way. They had really cool stuff, but it wasn't anything we wanted to buy. A couple at one of the stores looked up a coin shop for Mark and he was excited for two reasons: 1) a coin shop... YAY 2) the owners were so nice to stop what they were doing and look something up for us. It was a great first impression of the people in New Zealand!
We retrieved our bags at the airport, which was super easy. Both of us were hungry after all of the morning excitement. So, we decided to go after some local "fish and chips." We soon realized that Auckland is overloaded with Asian cuisine, but since we were coming from Japan, we REALLY wanted something different.
We thought we were getting to the right area when we realized all of the restaurants were takeaway only. Luckily, Mark spotted an Irish Pub before were turned into "hangry" monsters! I was able to get some tasty fish and chips, after all, and Mark got roast sirloin with potatoes. We were so happy to be enjoying a beer and food! Finally!
After lunch, we drove around and went over some bridges - The Auckland Harbour Bridge, which was on the Amazing Race (we're a bit obsessed) and The Grafton Bridge, which wasn't anything to get excited about.
Next, we returned the rental and they drove us to the Fullers Ferry. We stopped at an upscale bar and enjoyed a local brew because, well, we're on vacation! We did some people watching and simply relaxed for a bit while we waited for the ferry to come.
We took the ferry to Matiatia Port in Waiheke Island and enjoyed a beautiful sunset along the way. It was winter, which means it was cold, but we couldn't resist standing outside for a bit to enjoy the view. Once we arrived, we crossed our fingers that our lodge would pick us up, but that didn't happen. So, we called a cab and made it to Fossil Bay Lodge without any issues.
Matt... or Jeff... we can't remember his name, greeted us very sheepishly once we arrived. It was so incredibly dark that everything was a bit more eery that necessary. Even "Maff" (Matt + Jeff) seemed pretty creepy... although, I'm sure he's the nicest of nice guys. He had already opened our cabin for us and had the lights on. He pointed us in the right direction, gave us a short tour, and then he disappeared.
Our room was amazingly cute! It was just big enough for a bed and a small seating area. There was a patio, but we couldn't see much of it upon arrival because it was so dark outside. We were extremely happy to see it the next morning. It was like a little fairy tale! Most definitely the perfect way to start our anniversary, that's for sure!
Such a delicious dessert: a puff pastry with vanilla bean ice cream and warm, homemade salted caramel to pour on top. To die for!
We settled in and decided to walk into the village, Oneroa, for dinner. Mark brought a headlamp and it turned out to be the best decision ever! The walk was very dark (have I mentioned the darkness enough??), but we navigated (read: Mark navigated) into town with no problems, we had a delish meal at the "Oyster Inn," and headed back to our cottage to get some rest.
It was early, but it seemed so late because of the town was "sleepy." It was like everything shut down after 7:00 pm. We're in New Zealand and so pumped about it!!