Auckland to Melbourne & back again
18.04.2015 21 °C
The school holidays have been jam packed this Easter!
We started with a long weekend in Melbourne catching up with family and friends over plenty of good food and drinks. One of our nicest meals was at a Polish restaurant where Kirsten and I got to eat a childhood favourite of ours, perogi. The place is famous for its 155 different types of vodka, just a few of which we sampled!
We stayed at the Hilton Doubletree, right in the city centre which was perfect for our needs. We explored the city in our usual way, through geocaching. This took us to some great lanes famous for their graffiti.
The Comedy Festival was on while we were there so we saw a couple of shows with my sister – James Acaster a very funny British comedian and the show Absinthe which was on tour from Vegas. Both well worth seeing.
On Easter Sunday we got up at some stupid hour of the morning but for good reason – we had a hot air balloon ride booked. We got picked up around 5am and driven to the launch site on the outskirts of the city. We helped with the set up and as the sun rose we gently floated over the city. It was a great experience, quietly floating over all the buildings and parks below looking like a toy town.
We got involved in packing up the balloon and then we all headed to the Hyatt for the most amazing champagne breakfast in our own private room. There was every breakfast food that you could imagine - full cooked breakfast, cereals, fruits, waffles, pancakes, muffins, French pastries and much, much more. The champagne came in extra handy as we were celebrating the fact that one of the couples got engaged during the adventure! Although he did wait until the landing fearful he might drop the ring out of nervousness!
Before we knew it, it was time to check out and after a lovely lazy afternoon catching up with friends over lunch it was time to head back home.
We then had a week of gigs seeing Paolo Nutini at the Powerstation, David Gray in the Aotea Centre and Ed Sheeran at Vector Arena. All three gigs were great and it is hard to say which was best!
Before seeing Ed Sheeran on the Saturday night we arranged to meet our good friends Cheryl & Darren for some fun at Escapade, a game where you get locked in a room for an hour and try to escape by solving the clues. We had such a laugh working out the puzzles to find codes to open locks which would reveal further clues or keys. We eventually got out after 48 minutes so well within the allocated hour.
The next adventure was at Auckland Zoo – we did a Behind the Scenes Tour with the squirrel monkeys. We got to hand feed ten squirrel monkeys which was so cool! One of the older monkeys, Romy, took a shine to me and spent ages sitting either on my shoulder or on my hand playing with my fingers. There were some little baby monkeys in the enclosure too, they were much shyer and would just quickly grab some raisins and then run!
After the feeding session we wandered around the zoo for a while checking out all the other animals. We always enjoy a trip to the zoo!
Monday saw the arrival of my good friend Nancy from Sydney. The next 5 days found me playing host and giving her a tourist view of Auckland. That involved visiting the museum and watching their cultural performance, a trip up the sky tower, lunch at Mission Bay and the highlight – Auckland Whale and Dolphin Safari on the Hauraki Gulf. We saw hundreds of dolphins and a couple of whales whilst we sat on deck and enjoyed the one sunny, blue skied day of her stay. The boat trip was followed by a delicious dinner at the Viaduct as the sun set – a perfect end to a perfect day.
Nancy’s last morning was spent geocaching as she had wanted to discover what it was all about, we had taken her to find a few earlier in the week and she had decided to set up her own account and was keen to get more finds under her belt!
All too soon it was another trip to the airport and a farewell to Nancy.
Now it’s time to get ready for the new school term and start planning our next adeventures!