(*OK, I’ve decided to split up my posts about our Auckland-Sydney Cruise. I think the “one page” format is too much.)

Fourteen nights of buffets, bingo and beautiful sights!
Our holiday started in Auckland, New Zealand, and we ventured through the North and South islands of NZ. Then, we moved on to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; Newcastle, New South Wales; and finally, Sydney.

Let the adventure begin….

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Traveling is so exciting, yet exhausting at the same time.

(December 8)

So starts our holiday! We flew out of the Gold Coast Airport, and 3 hours later, we were in New Zealand!

Auckland:

Awesome Auckland. First things first, though, it was soooo good to see my parents! When we arrived at the hotel, they were out front to greet us. Oh, it was sweet to hear some American accents 🙂 After quick hellos and a check of the hotel room, the four of us hit the streets of Auckland. (Our flight didn’t land until 3pm or 4pm, so we didn’t have much daylight left.) Our hotel was around the corner from SKYCITY – home of Auckland’s very own Sky Tower – so we stopped there first. We decided to make lunch reservations at the Sky Tower Restaurant for the next day.

To our surprise, Auckland isn’t a huge city – as far as capital cities go, anyway. Nevertheless, the city had a great vibe. It was bustling with shops and cafes and tourists and students, but it also had this small-city feel, maybe it was the architecture or just the air of friendliness and laid-back attitudes.

Then, we made our way to the waterfront to find some food. With full bellies, my parents long day of traveling was starting to kick in, so they headed back to the hotel. Meanwhile, JP and I were in vacation mode and we went to check out some local venues – the Loaded Hog (or, the Loaded Pig?), Monsoon Poon and some bar that I don’t know the name of. At the last bar, I found a quote painted above the bar that will be added to my Quote Book:

“All beer is good, some beer is better.”

(December 9th)

We made our way to the Sky Tower Restaurant getting there a little early so that we could check out the view from the top of the Sky Tower. At 328 meters in the air, a great view is guaranteed! And, we were able to watch all the adrenaline junkies who were base jumping from the tower.

Auckland Sky Tower

(more pics on Flickr! ch-ch-check it out!)

After lunch, it was raining a bit, so we decided to pop into the NZ National Maritime Museum. It was actually kind of cool – there were exhibits on sailing, whaling and Maori culture.

Soon, though, it was time for us to grab our bags and board the Mercury cruise ship!

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