Going home to NZ 4 years later, thoughts and feelings from my trip back to Auckland. Hi everyone! A few weeks back I returned to New Zealand on a super speedy trip that lasted 5 days!
I packed heaps of activities into the 3 days I was actually in Auckland so it was a really full but great trip back. The entry that I will write this time will be a little different from usual as I’m going to talk about some of the things I noticed and felt whilst back in New Zealand.
Please have a read! I was interested how NZ with it’s opposite seasons was during Autumn and early Winter. I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone back to New Zealand during colder months and had heard that Auckland had had 2 degree weather which really left me confused as I hadn’t needed to purchase a down jacket until after I arrived in Japan.
I contacted Duke about the weather just to be sure! I decided to take my youngest child with me on the trip back. It was her first ride in a plane, first time out of Japan, first time to enter NZ, and first time to meet her grandfather!
I was a bit worried about how it would go to say the least! We caught a direct flight with Air NZ both there and back. At the moment direct flights only leave from Narita and coming from Saitama City it felt a bit far away lol!! I did hear that starting from Summer Air NZ would be starting flights from Haneda Airport which sounds great! Next time I go to NZ I will definately check it out!
Departing Narita and going to Auckland means travelling from early evening overnight and arriving in Auckland the following day in the morning. I really like the idea of travelling overnight and arriving the following day as it makes the 11 hour flight feel that much faster.
I ordered the new option in economy class called Sky Couch. Your ticket covers 3 seats on the plane and the foot rests on all the seats lift up to form a flat 160cm long area that you can use freely. I thought this would be perfect for my daughter and I to sleep on the way to Auckland and it would have been, had it not been for the crying baby several rows away!
Needless to say we didn’t have the best sleep but it was much better than a regular economy seat thats for sure! Arriving at Auckland Airport we arrived at what can only be described as a laughable excuse for a gate.
Walking down the outside of the plane, we boarded a bus that drove us to a far corner of the airport. From the there we walked to collect our bags. Why we got parked out in the middle of the tarmac is beyond me but it the last thing you expect after travelling for 11 hours!
passing through the Duty free shopping areas I noticed it had been up graded to a nice simple design too which was really nice. We queued at customs and were processed smoothly. After picking up our bags we headed to customs and as always lol the staff were a bit scary. It’s great to know they are looking out for New Zealand’s rescources and protecting the border so well.
After being greeted by my dad we headed home. My parents moved late last year from Epsom over to Mt Wellington so this was the first time for both my daughter and I to check out the new house! During my University days we actually had a class trip to the Mt Wellington Quarry where, the teacher explained the whole area was slated to be developed and made into a new residential area. It was very cool to actually go the an see that area totally developed with houses and apartment buildings! The difference that 15 years makes!
The weather issue that had me confused was quickly sorted lol. Mornings and evenings were cool with mid day heating up so much that I could wear short sleeves with no worry! I left our bags at home ad we popped our to grab a coffee at the local cafe.
Entering the carpark I backed in as is standard in Japan as (let’s face it) its easier to get out! Looking around everyone was backed facing forward/back facing out lol It’s so much easier for me to go in backwards I wonder why everyone here parks that way. I never gave either parking method a second thought until I came back. Heading into the cafe I got a delicious flat white coffee that are pretty much unavailable in Japan.
I checked out the food in the display case and ordered a blueberry muffin. It was 4 bucks and huge! haha I couldn’t finish it. We headed over to Sylvia Park to check out the shopping mall over there. On the way I noticed the roads!! 3 lanes on each side a 6 lane road!! haha crazy wide and a great feeling. Arriving at Sylvia Park pretty much all the cars were parked nose in too lol.
The mall was of course way bigger that I remembered with so many shops! I popped into Japan Mart and yes! The selection was great!! It’s good to know Kiwis are getting more and more interested in Japanese food culture and wa shoku.
The other thing I noticed was the size of push chairs for babies!! They were so big I reckon I could have sat inside some of them! NZ maker Phill and Teds are sold on Rakuten Online Mall over here and we have one at home in Saitama but they aren’t really made for the middle of Tokyo and the trains! It’s great that they are ok in the massive shooping malls over here though and I’m sure the kids riding in them have no complaints!
On the second day oer in central Auckland I attended the 5th anniversary party for the organisation that run this blog! ConnectJPNZ. Even though it was raining cats and dogs outside it was nice and dry once I got inside! We parked in a public carpark with a prepay system but I noticed it wouldn’t take bills! After living in Japan so long I’ve become used the convenience of paying in paper money anytime, anywhere!
I met up with Duke Yamamoto the head of Connect JPNZ and was amazed as usual at his ability to keep on smiling even though he is so super busy! It was so nice to talk to some of the attendees at the party who where Japanese people living, working and studying in Japan. They were so relaxed and friendly and really seemed to love their life in NZ which made me happy as a New Zealander.
The last day in Auckland I spent just chiiling out with my family and the following morning at an insanely early time I was up and heading towards Auckland Airport once again to depart.
I said my goodbyes to my parents and we left for Narita! Iv’e always been under this impression that Aucklands best season is Summer however I can strongly recommend Autumn now after this trip. It was really beautiful! Full sunny days with really easy going cooler weather.
Next I’m going to try to head back to Auckland again but this time in Summer! I’m really excited to be able report back to you on the Summer after I get back!
Talk to you soon!