My travels in Aotearoa, the land of the long white cloud, have been incredible so far. The highlights of my trip are a healthy mix of cultural must-do’s, sightseeing spots and photo ops, methods of teetering on the edge of heart failure, and lastly, ways to inflate your stomach and damage your liver that are totally worth it.
When I made my initial decision to move to New Zealand for a year, I found two things extremely daunting; the first was emigrating to a new unfamiliar country and thus, leaving behind a comfortable salary and all my friends and family; the second, trying to cram my entire life’s Topshop collection into a 30kg suitcase. This particular battle finally won, I arrived into Auckland in January 2016, ready for as many clichéd adventures as I could physically Instagram. I was due to spend a few days in the city with my friend, Charlotte, before our Kiwi Bus departure on the 26th. With the time difference and the plane journey out of the way, this left me one weekend in Auckland. Add in some celebratory drinks, a couple of jet-lag induced lie-ins and some long overdue catch ups and you really have very little time in what is actually the most populated part of the country with approximately 32% of the population residing there.
After countless trays of unsatisfying and/or questionable plane food, my first expedition into downtown Auckland was in search of nourishment. Nobly swerving the temptation for the ‘Beercyle’, an eight person fully-functioning pub crawl two-wheeled contraption, complete with tour guide and table, we settled on a seafood supper.
The Crab Shack sits overlooking the harbour and the menu offers plenty of options for those not fussed by crab, or even shellfish – gorgeous tuna and beef steaks, wholesome fresh veggie salads etc. I would fully recommend going all out on food and making this a start-of-trip celebration – get a crab ‘from the pots’. I made a beeline for the Jonah Crab: a whole succulent crab still in the shell steeped in lemongrass and chilli with tomato, coriander and crispy shallots. When in Rome and all that… Note that cracking the shell and digging for your meat is a messy activity. Definitely not first date food. From experience, I would also like to remind you that you are not too big nor too clever for the bib.
If you have a little more time, climb Mount Eden & catch a boat out to Waiheke island.