New Zealand

It’s a journey, it’s a commitment but we flew again to the other side of the world, this time to Auckland, New Zealand. Many of you know I had such an amazing time visiting Sydney, Australia last year so I was absolutely ready to get on a 16 hour flight and battle the end of Auckland’s Winter. We booked ourselves a cosy Airbnb apartment in central Auckland just so we can be around the main attractions. Minus the trouble with wifi, the place was pretty sweet and one night we were even able to cook ourselves some ramen. It was a reminder of life without internet, and it was pretty great if I have to say so myself. We had each others attention a lot more than usual and just the day to day things you are used to doing that requires internet you weren’t able to do. Especially work! YAS! It’s not like we are glued to our phones on holiday (we have holiday rules), but when you know it’s there you check your phone more often. Uploading on Instagram was a real struggle, but hey thanks to all the hotel lobbies and Starbucks that assisted us 🙃

Downtown Auckland

Auckland Sky tower

Auckland had its own kind of beauty, what was once a volcanic island has now become a place for University students with plenty of uphill walks (tested my fitness levels 😰). Being in the central (downtown) area, we were around the hustle and the bustle, restaurants, the wharf and the famous long strip Queen Street (which was not even that impressive). Now moving away from one the largest shipping ports, tall buildings and humans you finally see the natural beauty of Auckland. We had booked a few tours on our trip (it’s the best way to get around), including a private tour the Mr found. Basically a local, me and the Mr on a one car adventure! (we read multiple reviews, emails to know it was safe to book a stranger) We were blown away to what our local guide showed us. Places where large coaches would not have been able to get through, and for sure me and the Mr wouldn’t have been able to if we went by ourselves. I was BLOWN away!

Huia, Western Suburb of Auckland

Not in a million years did I think I would be visiting secluded super fined black sand beaches, climbing over large pebbled rocks that were covered in baby mussels and walking under waterfalls in New Zealand. Places that not everyone has the chance to visit as it is all very secretive. I can’t believe I was able to be a part of it. I don’t even know how i’m going to tell my future children, I guess pictures will suffice. To just see my other half in his element, enjoying every moment that passed by, was heart warming and made me feel so proud of him. We are both completely capable of doing things on our own, I’m not a person who needs her hand holding. To me it is so important that the both of us are enjoying the trip, that the excitement is there and where he doesn’t have to constantly ask ‘If i’m okay’. And this is how you prevent the whole thing of ‘It’s always about her’ concept in a relationship.

Whatipu Black Sand Beach

Piha Black Sand Beach

Piha, Lion Rock

Now FOOD! The important stuff, I hear you!

Some of you may or may not know but New Zealand is the number 1 Halal meat exporter around the world for places like UAE and the USA. So we were eating everywhere! To our heart’s (and stomach’s!) content. Be sure to ask the restaurant for 100% clarification. With our jet lag our eating habits were all over the place. Breakfast was sometimes a miss, brunch was delayed or dinner was early. I’ve noted down below a few of our favorite places to eat. What I do regret is not taking pictures of our amazing food 👎🏽

List of recommendations:
  • Airbnb should do the trick if you are staying for over 5 days.
  • Book tours online for the best deals.
  •  Food, you are completely spoiled with options from Vegan friendly to fast food to fine dining and all at walking distance.
    • MASU by Nick Watt – Japanese Robata restaurant, very similar to ZUMA
    • The Grill by Sean Connolly- Premium meat and Seafood restaurant
    • Pappa Rich – Malaysian delights
    • Scarecrow –  Urban farmers market, with a kitchen and a florist! Amazing filling breakfasts.
    • Burger Fuel- Fast food, amazing beef and chicken burgers!
    • Mamak – Hidden gem for Malaysian food, Tapas and small plates.
    • Devonport Chocolates – the most luxurious  chocolates I’ve ever tasted and you also get to watch how they make the chocolates.
  • Zip lining on Waiheke Island.
  • Visit black sand beaches
  • Go for walks and use Uber to get around the city


Mission Bay

Scarecrow Cafe

I can never keep travel posts brief, I always have way too much to share. One week was certainly not enough for New Zealand, we were only able to cover Auckland yet there is so much more to see inc the Glaciers in the South islands. I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I did taking pictures for it, stay tuned for a post on the French Polynesian islands soon!

Mansur x