When our cruise ship arrived in Sydney at sunrise I was awed by the absolute beauty of the city. The Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge and gorgeous downtown were all so spectacular.
We had only one day to spend in Sydney before we headed to Auckland, New Zealand so we wanted to make the best of it. We checked into our hotel and because it was a Sunday we headed over to the Market at The Rocks. The Rocks are located on the site of Sydney’s historic city center. We shopped some of the stalls of hand made and recently imported items then ate a terrific lunch along the way at playfair cafe. They offered sandwiches and salads but we also decided to order the berry crumble, which was the better than you could ever imagine. The owner, Sean told us it was worth the wait and was going to change our lives. It was and it did. We ate it so quickly I forgot to take a photo of it in all of it’s deliciousness.
We walked along the ferry terminal to the Opera House. It is spectacular up close as well . I had no idea that the surface was covered with tiles.
We have some friends from Phoenix who now live in Sydney so after our shopping we met them for dinner at Ripples. It is located outside a community pool and has a beautiful view of both the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. The food and wine were so delicious and it was so very nice to spend time with our expat friends. After dinner they suggested we walk the bridge. It was a short walk and the evening views did not disappoint. It was also free, not the $250 charged by the company that escorts walkers slowly across the highest point of bridge.
The next morning we were at the airport headed to Auckland, New Zealand for a few days. We arrived in Auckland and recognized the SkyTower before we even hit downtown. We checked into our Airbnb in the center of town and were ready to explore the city. Since we only had four days in New Zealand, we decided to explore Auckland and the surrounding area by foot and by ferry.
We went to the ferry terminal and took Fuller’s Harbor tour, which provided us with a nice narrated cruise with view of Auckland’s downtown from the water, Bean Rock Lighthouse, the Auckland Harbor bridge and stops in Rangitoto, an island created by volcanic rock, and Davenport.
I may get scared easily, but ultimately I am an adrenaline junkie. I like to be scared. As soon as I saw people bungee jumping off of the Sky Tower, I knew I had to do it. A thrill, with very little risk in my estimation. After you sign your life away, participants are weighed, placed in jumpsuits and harnesses and sent up to the top of the tower to free fall for about twelve seconds. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I screamed the entire way down and loved it.
We celebrated after the jump by enjoying a New Zealand delicacy, Green Lipped mussels. They were gigantic and fabulous.
For our final day in Auckland we booked a day long wine tasting tour with Waiheke Island Wine Tours. We were met by our driver Wayne, a life long resident of this picturesque island, who explained the history of winemaking on the island as well as information about native Maori culture. We visited three wineries and finished with a gourmet lunch at The Shed at Dunleavy Vineyards.
The next morning we woke up early for a very long travel day back to America. We were able to keep our baggage down to two suitcases and two backpacks. For our return We did check our luggage since they were now heavy and expanded to maximum capacity, also we needed to put our wine somewhere..
We have completed our journey of thirty one days visiting the other side of the world. We tried new foods, met new friends and experienced things that we will never forget. There is no one else in this world that I enjoy traveling with more than my husband. As we waited for our Uber to arrive a bus passed us by and on that bus was the message of our travel.