Auckland Journals

Auckland: City of 100 Lovers

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An October 2007 trip to Auckland by midtownmjd

Sunrise in Auckland Photo, Auckland, New Zealand More Photos
Quote: Auckland was a fitting introduction to New Zealand; the city is as lovely and welcoming as the rest of the country.

Auckland: City of 100 Lovers

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Overview

Sunrise in Auckland Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
Auckland was named Tamaki makau rau (City of 100 Lovers) in Maori because it was desired by all and conquered by many. And after starting and ending my first trip to New Zealand there, it’s easy to see why.The mast-filled harbors of Auckland, known as the City of Sails, don’t disappoint, but it was away from the bustle of the waterfront and downtown that I found my favorite neighborhood, Ponsonby. The homey area is about 15 minutes’ walk from the city center and is full of great restaurants, shops, villas, and views. A disproportionate number of bakeries give its streets the scent of Paris, and the architecture of many of the houses is pure gingerbread. The area is a bit hilly, like...Read More

Mollies

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Hotel

Mollies Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
Stepping out of my taxi after 24 hours of traveling on foot, subway, plane, and car, I went from feeling like a rumpled mess to feeling like I’d died and gone to, well, Mollies.Miss Joanna was expecting me and immediately whisked me into my duplex villa, a bright space filled with the notes of Pavarotti, the glow of an electric fireplace, and room after room of exquisite but comfortable décor. As soon as she left, I ran around the place like a candy-crazed kid, my jet lag a thing of the past before I even stepped into the amazing shower, tucked into the plush bed, or became an actual candy fiend at the complimentary mini-bar.I paused for a while on the upstairs balcony, where I...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2007

Mollies
6 TWEED STREET ST MARYS BAY
Auckland, New Zealand
64-93763489

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour

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Hotel | "Westin Auckland"

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour  Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
The Westin Auckland, Lighter Quay, is the Starwood hotel chain at its best. The new property embraces its harbor setting; incorporates typical New Zealand art; and presents a clean, Zen look and feel throughout.The hotel, a cozy retreat in downtown Auckland, is all clean lines, full windows, and flowing water. The lobby has great sitting areas and friendly concierges—one even brought my group muffins and coffee when he saw us waiting for a cab at 6am.Even above the location and hospitality, the reason I would highly recommend this Westin is the quality of the rooms. I haven’t stayed at a Westin since the introduction of the Heavenly Bed, and now I’m hooked. The mounds of fluff ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2007

Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbour
21 Viaduct Harbour Avenue
Auckland, New Zealand 1010
(+64) 9 9099000

Great Barrier Island

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Attraction

Great Barrier Island Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
As I gripped my seat on a nine-passenger plane and craned my neck to look out at the sea, I was torn between thinking "this’d better be worth it" and "this is the coolest thing ever." Wearing giant headphones to dull the noise of the propellers, I was encased in my own thoughts over Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf islands.It was the beginning of my daylong Untamed Island Tour with Bush and Beach Tours, led by the ever upbeat Dawn Gasparro. We met at 7am at Auckland’s airport and hopped a 30-minute Mountain Air flight to Great Barrier Island. We landed without incident at one of ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 16, 2007

Great Barrier Island
Hauraki Gulf
Auckland, New Zealand 0991
+64 0800 AUCKLAND

The Whiskey

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Attraction

The Whiskey Photo, Auckland, New Zealand
Quote:
The Whiskey has a lot going for it: a location on Ponsonby Rd.; a good appetizer- and pizza-heavy food menu; a huge selection of drinks; a low-key but upbeat atmosphere; classic-rock music; and Cocktail College. This was one course I was excited to take; somehow "hit the bars" sounds more fun than "hit the books," doesn’t it?Cocktail College takes over The Whiskey at 6pm from Tuesday through Saturday. I went on a Friday night and had a great time kicking off the evening. Our group of eight got to choose four drinks from the menu that’d we’d learn to make together, and our bartender set each of us up with all of the barware and ingre...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 16, 2007

The Whiskey
210 Ponsonby Rd.
Auckland, New Zealand
649 361 2666

Matakana Day Trip

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Story/Tip

Saturday Flea Market in Matakana Photo, Matakana, New Zealand
Quote:
New Zealand was abuzz with stories of Matakana when I arrived. The wine-producing village an hour north of Auckland was the cover story in Air New Zealand’s in-flight magazine, and I kept hearing about the village’s initiatives to become the country’s first Cittaslow, or slow town.By the time I was in a car heading over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge toward Matakana, I felt like I knew what to expect, but seeing, smelling, and tasting the town’s delicious yields—food and wine—was even more enjoyable than I’d expected. The coast’s vineyard-dotted hills hide a foodie haven (and heaven).Our first stop was the Matakana Farmers’ Market, open every Saturday morning and full ...Read More