The best part of my trip to Japan was New Zealand. I’m joking of course. After I finished my staying in Tokyo I took the plane for Auckland. I had to stay 2 days in the “City of Sails” for some business related tasks. Part of my relocation process to New Zealand is setting up a company there and this trip was supposed to add the final touches to this project.
The flight from Tokyo to Auckland was on a Air New Zealand cruise and was quite busy. Never had a flight over that part of the Pacific and this one proved to be quite a shaky one. Out of 11 hours of flying I don’t think we had 2 hours without turbulence, if we sum up all the small, 5-7 minutes of smooth going. The good part was the plane had a working entertainment system, and the captain was a rather humorous guy.
I took the opportunity to watch “Bedtime Stories” with Adam Sandler, and two movies with Will Smith, both equally bad. There was “Seven Pounds” – good plot and theme but extended way over my supportability threshold – and “Hanckok”. If it wasn’t for Charlize Theron, I would have switch instantly to “Ikegami” a Japanese movie about an orwellian, highly productive society in which people were programmed to randomly die by the age of 22. I eventually saw “Ikegami” on my flight Auckland – Hong Kong, but that’s another story.
After I landed in Auckland, and passed the security control – for some reason they thought it could be a good idea to search my luggage, because I was staying only 2 days, which was kind of suspect – I finally checked in to my hotel, 3 minutes walk from Auckland Sky Tower. The rest of the day was dedicated to the business part of the trip, and, most of it, to the jetlag, as I surprised myself sleeping without even noticing it.
I spent the next day socializing with friends in Auckland. Part of my new world there was described in another post about what you know is what you get. I had a good time seeing them again, connecting, telling stories and catching up. I was also much better from the jetlag which made me an almost bearable person.
The next day I had to check out from the hotel and take the plane on my final destination, Romania, via Hong Kong and Frankfurt. Check out was at 10 AM and my plane was at 11 PM. So I had more than 12 hours to spend in Auckland before I was actually living. And I decided to spend that time on Waiheke Island.
Waiheke Island is located north east from Auckland and is a little bit far away than Rangitoto island, the one you can see from anywhere in Auckland. Waiheke is inhabited – as opposed to Rangitoto, which isn’t – and is also famous for its wines and wine tours. Is also a destination for rock stars like Peter Gabriel and Kylie Minogue who reportedly have bought land or houses there. Haven’t seen a sign with “this is Peter Gabriel house” so I will just take this from granted for now.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is the fact that Waiheke holds one of the most precious spots on Earth for me. I already wrote about that, it’s a small beach called Little Oneroa Beach and it was one of the most enjoyable places during my first trip to New Zealand. Only the thought that I will be able to stay again on that beach made my heart go a little faster. Can’t explain this strange vibration for this place, but that’s it.
So, after I checked out I left my luggage at the hotel to be picked up in the evening and headed for the harbor, down Queen Street. I was there at around 11 AM, just in time to catch a ferry for Waiheke. The city was slowly behind us.
Weather was fantastic, sunny and a little bit of wind. The ferry was very crowded with what seemed to be mostly tourists. In less than 30 minutes we were entering Matiatia Gulf, where our ferry was supposed to arrive.
After arriving I took a bus from the harbor with no clear target in my head. After around 20 minutes we were approaching a beach, called Onetangi. From what I knew from my map, that was the farthest inhabited point of the island, so I decided to get down.
After a few hours on Onetangi Beach I decided it’s time to go to my place, Little Oneroa Beach. I took the bus in the opposite direction and got down at Oneroa Beach. Things were unchanged – well, not much can happen in only 6 months since my last visit, but still.
Within 3 minutes of walk it was Little Oneroa Beach. I spend the next 2 hours there, watching the ocean and listening to the voices of childern who were playing around. Before leaving, in what I supposed it was an early twilight, I took another photo:
I got to Matiatia Gulf just in time to catch the last ferry. The gulf was silent and the only vessels remained were preparing to spend the night.
This time the ferry was less crowded. I sat comfortably on a bench in the front and watched the scenery.
As we approached Auckland, a strange hole in the sky let the sunlight pour near Devonport.
In minutes we were back in Auckland.
I got to the hotel in 15 minutes, took my bag and headed to the meeting point for my airport transportation. And that was Sky Tower. It was already night in Auckland.