Auckward Landing

Auckland, City of Sails, is the largest and most populous city in New Zealand.

Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand. I was there last September to visit my sister and her family living in Hamilton, another city about 1.5 hours drive south. This was my second visit to New Zealand. Previously, I had explored the country’s South Island and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Sky Tower, Southern Hemisphere’s tallest free standing building.

Auckland is a lot like a miniature version of Sydney. In fact, it feels very much like a replica of any other big cities in Australia, yet still unique in its own special way. There aren’t many places in the world where you could find a busy seaport, a wet market, the central business district, a volcano and a farm all located virtually next to each other. But that’s Auckland for ya.

My feet at 193m above ground

Apart from bungy jumping off the Harbour Bridge, I was kinda disappointed there isn’t anything else different to experience in Auckland City. Occasionally you see people doing stupid things, like jumping off a tower for fun.

But the city itself doesn’t seem to have much to offer. Shopping isn’t exactly cheap in New Zealand and the food generally is only so-so. Then again, Auckland isn’t known for its food or shopping.

The path to the summit of Mt Victoria, Devonport

It’s very easy to take good photos in Auckland.
Everything in Auckland is beautiful. The sceneries here are very beautiful. Even their sheep poo looks beautiful.

While in Auckland, I visited a few of its popular suburbs. One of my favourites is Devonport, an artistic tranquil laidback little suburb popular for its rows of nice cafes and restaurants.

Mushrooms, in a cosy little cafe called Spitfire.

Everything in Devonport is simple. The residents here live a very simple life. Even their cars look simple.

They’re happy just to wake up every morning, take their pampered dogs out for a walk, then sit by one of the cafes reading a book while sipping latte.

A coffee bean roaster. I LOVE COFFEE.

When I retire, I want to live a life like that and drink coffee everyday.

None Tree Hill

The famous One Tree Hill is another interesting place I visited in Auckland. Only problem is, the one tree hill is removed and replaced by an obelisk.
The hill reserve is actually a family farm, unusually located in the middle of the busy city. This must be the only place in the world where farm animals like sheeps and cows can roam around munching on grasses while city dwellers jogs up and down the hill.
Stupid joggers must kena lots of sheep poo on their shoes.

When the night come, I met up with an old friend of mine Joanne Chin for dinner at this nice Belgian restaurant called The Occidental. I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but out of everything that I could have possibly ordered, I asked for their signature Belgian sausage that comes in a shape that looks amazingly like a piece of shit.

The shitty piece of Belgian sausage that I “occidentally” ordered

It tasted quite bland. I didn’t finish it.
The best way for independant travellers like myself to move around in Auckland is by private car. Still, I’m a little bit not used to this sort of luxury. For a big city like Auckland, it is kinda strange that public transport here sucks big time. Buses and trains are infrequent and expensive so many tourists prefer not to utilise them.

A bus trip from Auckland Airport to the city costs NZD$23 per person. Hiring a small car to drive around yourself costs only NZD$29 for the whole day. I’m lucky enough to borrow a car from my sister. Having a sister who lives in New Zealand can also cut costs tremendously. 😛

Thankfully, the roads are well signposted and it’s extremely easy to tour around self-driven. But from time to time, I had to stop to ask for directions and that’s where the fun starts.

City workers “catching snakes” at a fountain in Auckland’s CBD

New Zealanders speak in a weird accent. It’s close to Australians, but weirder compared to them. At least with Australians, you could still understand them. With New Zealanders, the words could mean something else completely.

Looks like something straight out of a Superman movie

You see, Kiwis pronounce “fish and chips” as “fush and chups”. They pronounce “left” as “lift”.
I once asked for a directions to get to a tourist destination, and the guy told me to “drive down this road and take a lift, go all the way down and take another lift“.
I looked at him one kind and asked if my car can fit into the lift.

Colourful suburban houses

Worse, Kiwis also pronounce “six” and “sex”.
I once bought something from a shop, and the girl at the counter said I need to pay sex dollars and ten cents”.
She wasn’t too amused when I unzipped my pants.

My digital camera was stolen. 🙁 I feel handicapped without my Sony T9.
I searched and searched, and I couldn’t find any ultracompact cameras better than the Sony T9. In the end, I got myself a White Sony T10.

73 Replies to “Auckward Landing”

  1. yo ken, enjoy your stay.
    by the way, dude, have you made up your mind on whether to migrate back to australia, or stay here?
    i say go. but that’s just my opinion anyway.

  2. Australia rocks my jocks! 😀 lol
    though.. if you’re considering staying here.. it might be a tad difficult to get a decent house with a decent price. :S

  3. frankly speaking i am quite opposite with you, as i love asian countries all this while. i always think ang moh countries just too boring and slow. and hard to communicate with far different brains. haha. but the more i read your entries i found that their countries are rather interesting. esp those cultures and beautiful i wish i could go there.hah.thanks.

  4. well you have one or two errors with your facts in this piece, the first one was stating that the tree on One Tree Hill (None Tree Hill as its now called in the community) was replaced by an obelisk, but in fact that monument was there when the tree was still alive and partially well before a freaking maori activist chopped it down, i guess burning or shotting a NZ flag is kinda old. The obelisk wasn’t there to replace anything really.
    And how dare you have the audacity to say that kiwi accent is worse than the aussie’s?!!!!! I guess your hearing is still to wired to the weirdness of the aussie accent, think kiwi accent is on par with canadian’s accent, well at least we don’t pronounce beach as bitch 😛
    That being said, great blog keep up the good work 😉

  5. i think you would be happy if all good looking women spoke in a kiwi accent. then you would be able to unzip your pants often.
    constant ventilation

  6. i also wish to travel NZ if i have a chance.i enjoy watching those beautiful,breathtaking sceneries,listening to the cow moo-ing,and breathing fresh air(hope i don’t breathe in the poo’s smell).=p

  7. And I still can’t always figure out what my Aunt who is from NZ says, even after knowing her for more than twenty years.

  8. 1. the car looks simple
    2. the hill has no tree. it is simple
    3. the shit is jus simple
    everything seems to be very simple in Auckland eh ?
    sex dollars? wow.. it is not ‘simple’ at all?

  9. is it just me or the sheep poo looks like some bird animal like thing sitting on a rock? It looks like it has ears and eyes… :s hehe

  10. Kenny, you seem to be losing your flair that rose you to popularity the first place. Maybe you should stop catering for the masses and write for yourself.
    I want the old Kenny-writing-style back. 🙁

  11. My old holiday romance from 10 years ago was a New Zealander. I still have fond memories upon hearing that funny accent.

  12. Awesome post. Your pictures really speak a million words.
    Your photo’s are taken well. You even make the sheep shit look good.
    The cities look elegant and still nature is abundant. Not to mention the nearby seaside.
    And you can jump down buildings and bridges for fun too. 🙂
    Oh yeah, thanks for saving me a few thousand bucks, by the way. Your vacation trip posts are awesome. 😀

  13. She wasn’t too amused when you unzipped your pants and she saw your unusual long rolled sausage? Owwwwwwwwww…………that’s one hell harsh……..

  14. -_- ull get used to the accent once uve been here long enough… this post is not funny at all… its just an accent… @_@

  15. I remember one of my professor’s telling me this…He told us that it was hard to hold his laughter everytime he heard them speak. He also studied in Manchester, and sometimes he felt like teaching the English a thing or 2 on how to pronounce things..lolz

  16. Thanks for the great write up on the City of Sails! I must say, Auckland accent is so much easier to understand than the OZ accent, cra-E-kiii! Thought i must admit West Auckland is a little tuff.. and the Southern accent too.
    But you are right, Hamiltron doesn’t have much good food! but Auckland has the best!! You probably went out with the wrong crowd for food! But mind you, Malaysian food is not that great in auckland,you do get some good ones, but definitely better in Wellington. But all the other food is to die for!!! Korean BBQ, Japanese, Vietnam, Taiwan, Shabu shabu, peking duck…. mmmmmmm… I wanna go back to NZ!!

  17. Nooo…AUSTRALIANS are the ones who speak liddat!! I always thinnk they do..coz me is a kiwi myself (well, 11 yrs in NZ can be considered kiwi lah ya..)
    I lived in Melbourne for 3 months of those 11 years, and I can seriously say the Aussies mocked me like crazy with those “sex”, “Fush and Cheps”,etc ..and I kept thinking..hey…I should be doing that to you lot!
    Anyway, good post Kenny, but have to say, love Wellington way better! Miss good ol’ Welly!

  18. food in New Zealand isnt good huh? well that will teach you for getting belgian suasage in New Zealand thats like going to Tokyo to eat Mc Donalds wellington is far better then Auckland for the food and lifestyle. My girl friend is Malaysian and she says that australians say six as sex not new zealanders may you just had sex on the mind

  19. Oh Kenny! You’re making me miss my bf more!! He’s in Auckland (I’m in Melbourne). Went there during winter. But really have to admit that Melbourne is nicer than Auckland lor. Got the romantic Yarra River in Melbourne and the many shops on Swanston St. Auckland just one stretch of expensive shops in Queens St. But South Island was cool though. 😉

  20. this is ridiculous..i mean..trying to make a blog funny with cheesy lines like the pronounciation of new zealanders? we definitely do not pronounce six as sex …and its not that auckland is boring..its people dont do activites in auckland, they travel up north or down ruapehu for skiing or piha up north for surfing..maybe you should try going up north to piha which is a 40 minute drive from auckland. auckland also has quite a few fishing spots where people do enjoy the sport..or perhaps waterskiing, or snow boarding, or sailing…new zealand is a sports orientated country..and frankly auckland is just where people earn their cash so they can afford their next surf board =)

  21. Ha! I used to live in London with 3 Kiwi housemates who were all from Auckland.
    I used to give them shit all the the time about them using number “sux”, eating “fush & chups” and using “pugs” to hang up the washing 😀
    I used to cop the same for being Aussie. It’s all fun and games until someone’s team loses a rugby or cricket match.

  22. hahah…I know…the kiwis are harder to understand from the australians! A kiwi friend of mine keep calling me stiff-fannie when my name is Stephanie!

  23. can you take the picture of you standing on top of the tower? It looked as if you were bending your body slightly forward to take the picture and I am amazed that you are still alive wei..haha..btw, good post,keep blogging *drom drom*

  24. sheep poo indeed! haha…
    oh, and i do agree with Bunny, don’t post a picture of poo together with the mushroom picture lar…it makes the mushrooms look like poo too (-_-)”’

  25. A car like that, you call that simple?
    That’s a french car, the brand is Citroën DS.
    It has a very special suspension. It’s hydraulic, and when the engine is running, you’re suspension is very soft, so you won’t feel the bumps in the street.
    In good shape, you can pay about 15000euro for that kind of car here in Belgium/France. Their collector items now 🙂

  26. Hey Kenny, you have got it wrong laa. The kiwis like to pronounce i as u. For e.g., six as sux, fish and chips as fush and chups.
    As for the Aussies, they like to stretch on the i as double ee. For e.g., six as seex, fish and chips as feesh and cheeps.

  27. I remember when I went to NZ in 1999, and at the SkyTower I was damn afraid to stand on the see-through panel, and there were all these kids who were actually jumping up and down on it.
    Btw, that Belgian sausage looks disgusting. Bleh…

  28. My ex is a kiwi and he did really pronounce “sex” the same way we pronounce “six”. And “right” is “roight” and “message” is “missage”. It was very difficult to understand him initially but after while, i just got used to it.

  29. it’s not a “simple” car. it’s THE GODDESS! the citroen DS(pronounced as diese-goddess in frech). a major milestone in car technology, its virtually a “new” car in it’s engineering. it’s voted as 3rd in the list of cars of the millenium(after the mini and beetle).

  30. Our accents are not as weird as those in Singapore and Malaysia and we sure don’t say “lah” all the time. Singaporean English hardly qualifies as English at all…

  31. hi kenny
    Correction – the tree (yes only one) was actually chopped down by a Maori – not replaced by the obelisk (which has always been there)
    froma Chiwi 😉

  32. How strange that only OTHER people have accents, you dont at all? Making fun of accents is a cheap laugh (dissapointing, you could try actual wit?). Ive lived in Ak 2 years now, it is beautiful and there is heaps to do (did you never go to the beaches? for a sail? were you inside all the time? why did you come?)The food is as good often better than anything Ive had in Australia and Europe. So often attitude is all about how much you enjoy anything. And yes you got the accent really wrong- not sex but sux for 6.

  33. Hey Kenny!
    I’m a Kiwi born Malaysian living in up in Auckland! Love your blog about it … guess loads of people wanna visit it now! You should visit Mission Bay, Sylvia Park & Botany! they’re cool places…Honestly Auckland City is quite boring… there’s nothing there..the shops are bad & expensive & its all old buildings… go to the smaller suburbs!
    Have fun next time you’re in nz

  34. U seem kinda retarded.
    You must be another asian getting around Auckland… That is what makes the city boring… Too many Asians, hence too many tacky shops and crappy Asian restaurants.
    BooHoo Ken:>

  35. I came upon yr blog by accident and love it ! Am a Malaysia living in auckland. Next time you come to Auckland, yes, you must visit the suburbs for nice food and shopping. Auckland city is old and boring but subburbs like east auckland – sylvia park and botany are nicer areas. Cheers.

  36. Bunun bir ortasi vardir herhalde. her neyse 30 yasina gelmis de her halti yeyip evlenmek isteyen kiz, yillar Ünce elinden kaüirdigi yakisikli nazik iyi sevisen erkegi tekrar bulamaz, aradigi kisi su an kendi ayarinda birini bulmustur. eline geüecek üirkin, kaba, tercihen zengin(en azindan is sahibi) tosuncukla yetinir. Cok bir sey beklemesin artik güzellik de yavas yavas gitmeye basladi.

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