I spent 3 nights total in Auckland, with the Kiwi capital book-ending my hectic month in New Zealand.
As Kiwis and backpackers alike will tell you, Auckland is pretty much just a standard city. It’s clean and pretty, overlooking a charming harbour, but it’s not one of the many jewels in New Zealand’s substantial crown. The population of the whole country is roughly 4 .5 million, and Auckland houses some 1.3 million of those – which sounds a lot but actually makes for an eerily empty capital city. Any South Island local will tell you that those big city Aucklanders are rude and always in a rush. Sounds similar to the North/South rivalry of England. Like the English rivalry, though, it’s largely made up, and I found the city dwellers to be perfectly lovely.
In terms of things to do, there’s plenty, but nothing particularly unique to the city. The bridge climb offered doesn’t measure up to Sydney Harbour Bridge‘s dizzying heights, and the bridge bungee is piddling compared to the gargantuan drops found on the South Island. That said, it’s a fun city and provides a safe, sound start to the inevitable adventures and escapades that can be expected as you descend into the depths of the home of adrenaline.
The Sky Tower offers delightful panoramic views, and you can leap off it if you’re so inclined (with a bungee… Auckland isn’t that bad). Plus, there are some pretty public gardens to explore, plenty of high end shops, and a bunch of lively hostels and bars for you to frequent and make some new alcohol induced regrets. The university warrants a visit too, and has some pretty architecture and a charming campus.
Now, let’s get out of the capital and go jump off some cliffs and shit.