After visiting Hobbiton, we drove the last stretch up to Auckland where we found a campsite as close to the center as possible. With only 15 in to the city, Avondale Motorpark seemed like a good place to spend our last days camping in NZ. But the place was a dump, with bad facilities and not really worth the $50 per night… So the next morning we packed the campervan for the last time.
The last day with the camper, we decided we might as well use to see some of the sights in the outskirts of Auckland. First we drove to Auckland Zoo, where we spent the morning wandering around looking at all of the animals. And we got to see a kiwi!
After lunch we wanted to experience some of Auckland’s volcanic fields, so we drove to One Tree Hill. The surrounding Cornwall Park was nice but the volcano top itself was very disappointing. We were expecting something else, but it felt more like just visiting a hill-top (maybe that’s where the name comes from..?).
Mai was asleep in the car so we decided to drop the walk in the area and drove straight back towards the area of the airport (close to where we had to drop off the camper), where we had booked a night at a hotel. We spent the last parts of that day relaxing in the sun by the pool and unpacking the camper /packing our stuff, so the camper could be ready for drop off the next day. After a little more than 3 weeks in the camper, it was SO nice sleeping in a real bed!
The next morning we returned the campervan and took a taxi to the city center. From home we had booked a nice apartment hotel, Celestion Waldorf Apartments Hotel – if you’re ever in Auckland, you must stay there! The hotel is perfectly situated in 5 min walking distance to Queen Street and the waterfront, the staff is really sweet and helpful and the apartment was huge with 2 big bedrooms and a large balcony. After 3 weeks camping, it felt really luxurious.
The last days in Auckland we spent strolling the sunny streets and relaxing. We followed a walking path mapped out in Lonely Planet, that took us through most of the city sights, but after 2 months of travelling, we were pretty “full” of experiences, so we really felt the need to just be in the city without any agenda or plans.
The last day we met with my friend Karin, her boyfriend Peter and their daughter Frida, who’s two months younger than Mai. They just arrived in Auckland the night before and was just starting their roadtrip in NZ. It was so nice to see them and we spent the day catching up on stories from home, us giving them tips on travelling in NZ while drinking G&T in the sun.