In Auckland during the summer they have Movies in the Park. It’s when they take a huge inflatable screen and hit up your local park and put on some of the past years best movies. This past Friday it was a beauty evening so we hit it up for our inaugural viewing. They recommend showing up early to find a spot as it packs out rather quickly. Of course we didn’t do that, we just rocked up and met with some mates who had a spot already and squeezed in. Since we rolled in just before it begun we missed the band, yup they have bands too! Cool eh! Everyone brought blankets, drinks (lots of alcoholic!!), food and some even brought their couches. It was similar feel to the classic drive in theater (which they dont really do here). It was a great night out with friends – a definite must do if in Auckland during the summer months.
Posts tagged AUCKLAND
Ive just returned from my Christmas vacation and it was great. I think the only downfall was that it was too short! I guess like any vacation. In total I had 11 days off of work – sweet!
Ill start with the weather, Christmas in New Zealand is all about the beach and bbq’s. It is the kick off to the warm summer weather. Unfortunately this year a cyclone and heaps of rain put a bit of a damper on that. It has been pretty much off and on with rain and strong winds. Not just your run of the mill showers, we’re talking buckets of rain. That is how NZ remains so green, heaps of rain with the chance of cyclone.
Christmas was spent at Michelle’s family’s house where like in Christmas fashion we ate heaps, had a couple drinks and spent the majority of our time watching little ones entertain the family with their Christmas enthusiasm. This year Michelle and I decided to get each other Stand Up Paddle boards… pretty amazing present! Now I ride in the morning and paddle in the avro. Not a bad lifestyle eh!
Boxing day we headed to a batch on an olive orchard where we once again ate well, had a couple bevies and just relaxed. It was a pretty cool spot south west of Auckland near Helensville out in the middle of nowhere. We stayed there one night and then headed back to Auckland to prep for the next part of our holidays, Waiheke.
I just heard that New Zealander’s based in Auckland experience some of the top rated quality of life in the world! Oh yah.. no wonder I love this place so much. (Don’t kid yourself though, Canada always ranks near the top too!) NZ held 3rd spot on the Mercer 2011 Quality of Life Survey for the 4th straight year and taking the highest ranking in the Asian Pacific region… take that Australia. The researches considered 39 pieces of criteria including economic environment, health, education, transport, housing, personal freedom and recreational factors like restaurants, sports facilities and cinemas. Out of 221 cities Auckland took third place… suck that Wellington! If you don’t know there is a bit of competition Wellington and Auckland… not really surprised to hear this as NZ has a pretty chill lifestyle. If you don’t believe, come down and give it go!
So this week I was too head down to Wellington to attend a conference put on by Tourism New Zealand. I heard about this conference last minute so I registered pretty late in the game. By doing so I unfortunately I booked a flight on Jet Star, going against a promis I made to myself to never book on that airline, as Ive always had shit experinces. Looking at flight costs Jet Star was a couple hundred dollars cheaper compared to Air New Zealand, so ill save the company some money and take the cheap flight. Turns out that cheap flight would cost me more in time and money!
The conference started on Thursday at 9am, meaning it was going to be an early morning. I was up at 5am to catch the bus at 5:30am, which would have gotten me to the airport at 6:10am. All airlines will ask you to arrive at least a ½ hour early before your domestic flight. This is what I had planned on, but the the airbus running 5 mins late I arrived at the airport at 6:15am. I really didnt think much of it as it was 5 mins and there was still plenty of time to board. WRONG! I guess Jet Star closes the gates exactly 30 mins priror too departure. Being that I was only 25 minutes early to my flight I was denied to boarding. BRUTAL! I didnt have any luggage to check – I told them that, but they said they had already printed the passanger list. I guess they limited ink and paper, so reprinting was out of the question. WTF! Customer serivice doesnt live at Jet Star. I had to pay $90 and catch a flight at 10:30am making me late for the start of the conference.
I finally get into Wellington and hit up the conference, which is great by the way. Day one went off without a hitch, well other than not catching my flight. Day two was just as good. Learnt lots of useful and interesting things and the day flew by. I catch my shuttle to the airport for my 7:25pm flight. This time I am a good hour early – not missing this flight. Little did I know…
Things are ticking a long like they should. I grab a bite to eat, have a beer, read some of my book and then proceed through security. No problems.. so far. Get on plane, buckle up and we start to make the move to take off and then all of a sudden the pilot comes on and tells us there is a problem and that he will have to park the plane and have one of the engineers come on and take a look at the problem. Ok, a little hickup and we will be off soon. WRONG!
After sitting on the plane for an hour we were asked to get off the plane and sit in the departure lounge. 5 hours later we are still sitting in the lounge waiting for some information – any infomration, but no we are being kept in the dark. We ask the flight attendants what is going on and they give the same old line, ‘we dont know anytthing, but as soon as we do we will let you know.’ There is another Jet Star plane sitting at the next gate and someone ask, ‘cant we just use that one?’ to which they reply ‘sorry, that plane is not working as well.’ My confidence in the Jet Star fleet of planes is at an all time low. Do I even want to get on one of these fucking planes?
All this time Im just rolling with it, what else can you do eh! So im reading, listening to music and just waiting for info. Then I see all of the staff come off the plane, bags in hand and head the opposite way of the passangers. They didnt even bother coming to tell us that the flight had been cancelled. WTF!
As soon as I saw them come off the plane I new it was time to book it to the Jet Star checkin desk to rebook and see where they were going to put me up for the night. The line was long – I pretty much said fuck it and walked to the front of the line and asked what the deal was. I was then rebooked for another Jet Star flight to Auckland the next day at 3:35pm ahha. So there goes my weekend. They were putting us up at a hotel and would shuttle us back and forth. I arrived at the hotel at about midnight and checked into my room. I then called Michelle asked her too book me a flight home with Air New Zealand called Jet Star and refunded my return flight.
Jet Star is just a comedy of errors. In the end it would have been cheaper just too book that flight with Air New Zealand even though the initial cost was a couple hundred more. My only advice is dont book with Jet Star if you want to arrive at your desintation on time. Jet Star definitely lives up to their nickname.. Shit Star. If for some reason Jet Star ever reads this post because you care about your PR and oline profile I just want them to know – YOU SUCK MONKEY BALLS!
Here is the highlights for the RWC 2011 Opening Ceremony. It was pretty impressive to say the least!
This past Friday was the opening of the Rugby World Cup and it was EPIC! The Auckland City Council had contacted all of the local business to recommend that they let staff off at 3pm and luckily my employer agreed! From the get go in the morning there was a buzz and excitement in the city. Everyone was rocking black and white in support of the All Blacks. To be honest it had to be one of the most unproductive days in New Zealand history. I think everyone was just waiting to start the party!
At 3pm we had a couple beers in the office and then it was off to Base to have some drinks on there balcony bar. The streets were just getting busier and busier by the minute. I didnt even bother to try and get into Party Central or even hit up the Queens Warf as it was already full – I could see that it was backed up at 2:30pm with people waiting to enter, so I wasn’t going to go fight those crowds. I was happy to be at a bar watching it with a group of Rugby mad travellers from all over the world! With the beers flowing we watched a fleet of Waka’s arrive into the harbour, a mass haka, live music from Dave Dobin and the Finn Brothers. After a couple beers at Base we shifted down the road to the Bluestone Room that was packed full with partygoers. Here it was jug after jug of beer with a bunch of rugby fanatics from France at our table.
There was a massive fireworks show at 8pm. Six thousand explosive shells wereill be let off from four floating barges in the harbour, the SkyTower and four buildings in the CBD. EPIC! The streets were packed with people supporting their team and the party was in full motion. People were on top of bus shelters dancing, in the streets, up light poles and on any space available. The fireworks lasted 12 mins and it was mesmerizing!
With the fireworks done it was back to the bar to watch the opening ceremonies before the game. The opening ceremonies included mix of Maori tradition and rugby heritage. It was amazing too! Well-done New Zealand! Soon enough the game was on and the Rugby World Cup had begun. The All Blacks and the Tongan’s each did there haka.. awesome! Then the All Blacks easily beat the Tonga side, but it was a fun game to watch and the atmosphere was electric.
On the walk home from the pub the CBD (central business district) was packed with people. It was estimated that 200,000 people were downtown and the Queens Warf had an additional 12,000 people. That is a lot of partygoers! For the most part there wasn’t a lot of trouble. Of course there were a couple fights, but with that many (intoxicated) people in one spot it is bound to happen. In the end the police arrested 63 people. Overall, it was an EPIC event! New Zealand should be proud as they represented very well. The tournament runs for 6 weeks, so this is just the beginning. When the All Blacks win, it will be pandemonium!
It’s only 5 days until the Rugby World Cup (RWC) in New Zealand. Already Auckland is a buzz with tourists and rugby fans. This past weekend you could notice a visible increase of people wondering around the downtown core, not to mention all of the buskers – jugglers, musicians, break-dancers and more! The harbour front has been transformed into party central! New bar, restaurants, shops have popped up everywhere.
Opening ceremony, which is this Friday 9th of September will kick start the 7th World Cup and is promising it will a night to remember. There is a 30-minute ceremony in front of 60,000 people at Eden Park that will tell the story of New Zealand. It will also represent the coming together of countries from around the world in New Zealand in pursuit of the World Cup. There are over 1,000 performers and backstage crew to make this evening possible. After the opening ceremony the first game of the RWC will be the All Blacks VS Tonga.
For those not able to score tickets to the open ceremonies the Auckland waterfront will be the place to be!
- 4.00pm – Tamaki Herenga Waka – fleet arrival
- 4.40pm – Dave Dobbyn and band at Queens Wharf
- 5.00pm – Mass haka and kaihoe procession – Eastern Viaduct/Quay Street
- 5.45pm – Mayoral welcome on Queens Wharf, followed by haka
- 6pm – The Finn Brothers concert – headline act
- 7.30pm – Opening Ceremony from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
- 8.00pm – Sound and light show – Auckland’s biggest and brightest fireworks and light show set to music composed specially for the occasion by Don McGlashan
- 8.15pm – Opening Match from Eden Park live on the waterfront big screens
- 10.20pm – Concert by top New Zealand music acts on Queens Wharf, featuring Dane Rumble, Midnight Youth, Kora and Manuel Bundy
- 2.00am – Queens Wharf closes.
So as you can see this will be the biggest event that New Zealand has ever hosted. Ive got my tickets to go see Canada vs Tonga on the 14th of September in Whangarei. Im stoked to be part of a game and even more stoked to be able to back Canada in the RWC!
Work has been great! I just got back from a trip down to Wellington and Christchurch. Any time you get out of the office is nice.Wellingtonwas pretty average, grey, windy and cold – the usual for Welly.Christchurchthough was bluebird skies, sunny and fairly warm. The flight down was impressive and looking back I wish I had my camera. The mountains were stunning. After the dumping of snow we had earlier in the month they are all covered and looking amazing. The best I’ve ever seen them. Super scenic.
September is looking good for work travel too! I’ve got heaps on the go and spring starts, so no complaints here. I’m off , to Wellington and Christchurch again. I’m loving it! Just found out that I will be heading to Queenstown mid September, so I have tacked a couple days on that trip to do some riding!
I maybe getting to GoldenBayfor some back country riding near the end of the month.. fingers crossed! It all depends on timing and funds!
The Rugby World Cup is only a week or so away and I’ve just scored some tickets too the Canada Vs Tonga game.Ill be going with another Canadian and a couple of Kiwis. STOKED!!! Life is good.
This past weekend I got to ride some new tracks around Auckland. I was pretty stoked to get shuttle-runs in, without having to make the 2.5 hour drive to Rotorua. The plan was to hit up Maraetai on Sunday where they run monthly shuttles. I always get a little nervous before I ride a new DH track, as you never really know what you are going yourself into, but in the end it wasnt too bad. They had 1 steep downhill track called ‘the trig’ which was wet, slippery and muddy. It wasnt a long track as it only took a few minutes to get to the bottom. It had some jumps, but overall it was just steep and slippery.The track def wasnt the best ive ridden, but not bad for around Auckland. The track needed some trail mainteneace as it was pretty rutted and in need a serious sweep since it was covered entirely in needles making line choice a bit sketchy. I think there were 8 trails at the drop point. I didnt ride all of them as i was told some were pretty cross-country which wasnt why i was there. I wanted down, fast, flowy with some jumps. I pretty much spent my time between ‘the trig’ and ‘two dead cows.’ My favorite of the day was definitely ‘two dead cows!’ It was a bit more flowy with a variety of jumps, from nice booters to some step ups.
Overall it was a great day! It is always good riding some new trails. Once summer hits and it really dries out it could be sick. The local mountain bike club is investing a lot time building so it is definitely a spot to watch. If you do plan to ride there make sure you get a permit as it you need one to be allowed in the forest.
Ive been living in Auckland for over a year now and I just can’t understand why everyone hates on this city? If you are from Auckland and you travel anywhere else in New Zealand you will hear this familiar term ‘JAFA,’ which means ‘Just Another Fucking Aucklander.’ I’ve met people from Auckland who cringe when asked where they are from because of the response they will get from other kiwis. In one case a taxi cab driver pulled over and tossed his Aucklander passengers out of his cab because they live in Auckland! How could someone make such a rush judgment about a person just because they live in a certain part of the country.
In any other country Auckland would be the ideal holidaying city. It has a temperate climate, plenty of nice beaches, cool neighborhoods, 2 harbors and enough going on that you won’t be bored out of your skull. I’ve met plenty of kiwis from outside of Auckland that feel the people living here are not friendly – I haven’t experienced that. Auckland is a small-big city with a very friendly feel. If you were to give the city a chance you will most likely enjoy yourself here. I’m not saying that backpackers should base themselves here, but to trash it and really only spend a couple days in the city is not giving it a fair go. Recently I met one backpacker who hated on the city, but now calls it home and has realized that it not such a bad place after living here for a while. Don’t get me wrong, Auckland isn’t for everyone but to say it is not a good place to live is totally untrue.
When I lived in Toronto it was the same thing with the rest of Canada. Everyone hates Toronto. The crime, the pollution, to busy, to much traffic, rude people.. ive heard it all and to be honest I was hater until I lived there. Once I gave it a chance it really grew on me. When I first thought of moving to NZ I didn’t really think I would be based out of Auckland, but when I scored a great job here why wouldn’t I give it a shot. I don’t regret it at all.
I think it all comes down to hating the ‘big guy.’ The UK hates London, Canada hates Toronto, Australia hates Sydney, everyone hates America and I could go on. Hating really doesn’t do anyone any good. So if everyone could just understand that the ‘big city’ isn’t for everyone and that really in the scheme of things you shouldn’t knock a place until you’ve actually lived there the world would be a happier place.