I arrived in Auckland on February 14, 2003. It was 10:30pm, and I was so tired from the flight over that all I wanted to do was get a hotel. I didn’t book one ahead of time because I wasn't suppose to be in Auckland for that long. It was very easy to find a hotel. There is a place where they have a huge board with hotels all over it and phones to call them. I was so surprised to find great deal after great deal. I ended up going with a hotel for NZ$50 a night. They had a shuttle service that would come and pick me up at the airport. Most of the hotels on the board all have shuttle services.
I went to the hotel and checked into my room. The hotel I was at had a pool and hot tub. I had a single room with a queen-size bed. It was very spacious. The bathroom had a stand-up shower and a bath tub.
In the morning I went to the front desk to see what was going on. When I arrived, the clerk took me into the small restaurant/bar they had in the lobby. To my surprise, they gave me a free breakfast because I was an international traveler.
After breakfast I took the shuttle back to the airport and grabbed a bus downtown. I walked around the downtown area for the afternoon and went in a few shops. They have a lot of traditional New Zealand/Maori shops everywhere.
Well, when I was downtown, I went to a bar called The Float. They film the TV show "The Hyundai Sports Café" there. It is a show that is host by a group of people that were formerly involved in sports in New Zealand. Mark Ellis is one. They were selling tickets for the taping the show for the next night, so I had to stay. To my disappointment, all the tickets were sold out for the show, so I was telling my waitress how bad I wanted to see the show, and that I probably wouldn't be able to see it again being from Canada. She went and talked to the owner, and he gave me a VIP ticket. I couldn't believe it.
I headed back to the hotel around 6pm and spent the night there watching TV. The next day I went and got another free breakfast, headed back downtown for a bit more shopping, went back to the hotel, dropped of the stuff I had bought, and then headed for The Float to see the show.
The show was great. While I was there, I met an English man who was on his way to Levin to play rugby. It was kind of funny because that was what I was there to do as well. We spent the night out in Auckland. The people there were so friendly. The next day I met the Englishman at the bus station, and we headed down to Levin.
All in all, Auckland was a great time. It is a place I would like to spent more time in