Day 1: Hong Kong – Auckland – Whangarei

Flight to Auckland and drive to Whangarei

Today I said good bye to Hong Kong after spending somewhere between 4 and 5 years there. I have an incredible mix of feelings at the moment, on one hand I am extremely grateful of the amount of great people I have met during my time not only in Hong Kong but in Asia, and on the other hand I feel deeply sad that I am leaving all of them behind now.

But here is to new beginnings, and with this new beginning I also start this blog series :)

The flight from Hong Kong to Auckland takes 11h, it was my first time flying with New Zealand airlines and I was really impressed with the quality of their service and aircraft, it is BY FAR the most comfortable plane I’ve ever flown with on tourist class, how can nobody had done this before!?

Left Hong Kong on Nov 13th and landed in Auckland Nov 14th, weather is a bit colder than I was hoping but thankfully I am ready for it with lots of layers to put on in case of big temperature drops.

After passing the extensive customs at the airport and a 20 min wait for my lift to Lucky Rentals, I met my companion for the next 30 days, she is not very sexy but I am sure we will connect in heart and soul since we will spend so much time together, her name is Lucky Rookie and she will let me sleep with her and provide the tools I need for cooking on the go during my New Zealand adventure.

First thing I did was head to the closest super market called Pak'n'Save, stock up my van with some basic supplies and food for the next couple of days and drive to the city centre.

Auckland strikes me as a really nice city, small and alive enough, I specially liked a Boulevard area behind SkyCiti with lots of coffee shops and restaurants, and I love the good vibes of all the young people walking up and down the street, if you are visiting Auckland I’d recommend you to pass by this area.

I didn’t want to spend too much time in the city so I decided not to sleep there and after a nice walk and visiting the St. Patrick Cathedral I decided to drive up north to my next stop: Whangarei. The drive is nice and easy on this first leg, the highway 1 is a double direction road but it has plenty of areas for overtaking safely and I found drivers in New Zealand very patient and nice when they are waiting to overtake you compared to many other places where I’ve driven. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any pictures while driving but the views all over are great and as soon as you leave Auckland you start seeing these amazing farms with cows and sheep all over the place, it was a very enjoyable 3,5h drive, a bit longer that it was supposed to because there was some problem on the road and got diverted at some point resulting in a good extra 30 min trip, but I had my landscapes and music so I didn’t really care :)

Made it to Whangarei just before dark and managed to find a place to park my van safely thanks to the Camper Mate app (highly recommend it if you are planning a similar trip). My dinner for the first day was lamb chops with mushrooms and humus on the side, I’m probably one of the worst cooks you can ever meet, but having that dinner right in front of the sea with all the nature around me tasted great to me!

First time making the bed and preparing what will be my routine before sleeping on the go for the next month and this first attempt was pretty bad, I need to find a better way to arrange my stuff inside the van and get more organised on the steps to follow when mounting and dismounting the bed. I’m sure I’ll master this art soon, just need to have more interaction with Mrs Lucky :) By the time I finished I was really exhausted, so I only remember touching the pillow with my head and disconnecting the brain after about 2 seconds. I woke up this morning, so I guess I passed the first test :)