Auckland, New Zealand
2 plane rides, a 5-hour layover 27 hours later I finally made it to Auckland. 2 years in the diary, I had a great excuse to go to New Zealand, a friend was getting married. Deciding to stay in 2 weeks, every day was planned from back to back.
Club Autus lounge
For the 5-hour layover I booked the Club Autus lounge through Dragon Pass paying just £20 with Addison Lee. Researching the lounges on Dragon Pass website two of the lounges suited the needs for me and my companion. We needed showers to refresh ourselves from the first leg of the flight that was 12 hours long and liked the look of mix of western and Asian food to line our stomach and avoid horrible plane food. Showers have to be booked prior entering the lounge. You are handed a buzzer for the shower room, once it buzzes you head to the reception area and get sent to the room. The shower room is filled with L’occitane toiletries, very clean and felt premium, towels are also provided. Food wise there wasn’t much of a selection for western food, sandwiches, and salads, but the Asian food was far better. A noodle cart made to order soup noodles, dim sum, stir fry and bubble waffles.
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We stayed in Botany Downs at this Airbnb house, and had a bedroom each, with self-check in and basic amenities. The neighbourhood is really safe and quiet from cars and people. Having the house for ourselves we cooked breakfasts in the mornings. The day we arrived the weather warmed up to the twenty plus degrees. Sunbathing and relaxing from jet lag. I’ve been using Together – Marine Magnesium capsules and it worked a treat helping fall asleep on the planes and at the different accommodations we stayed.
The next day we spent it exploring the city centre of Auckland CBD, hanging around Britomart and Queens street. This part of town is filled with the financial district banking companies. The weather was hot and we needed something to cool us down, we grabbed some gelatos from Island Gelato. They have over 70 flavours and seasonal ones to choose from. Staff will let you sample flavours and they are all irresistible. It’s the perfect thing for the hot weather by the ports.
For more information, visit the Island Gelato website.
4A 99 Quay Street
We then took a ferry to hop over to Devonport a seaside town for a late lunch. A return ferry ticket from Auckland to Devonport costs $15. Amongst, all the places we stumbled on Twisted Tomato, the smell of lamb koftes cooking the kitchen filled the air and lured us in. We sat outside by the back yard under the shade but still feeling the warm afternoon sun rays. Getting the fish burger and chips from the $15 menu, the fish is deep fried in a crunchy batter, stuffed with fresh crunchy lettuce, a slice of tomato finished with a squirt of aioli, it comes with a side of rustic fries. It was blooming great, I can tell the fish is very fresh, the rustic fries had a lovely paprika seasoning. The Kiwis are obsessed with aioli sauce. Salads are also a winner, good proportions of protein and leafy greens, mixed with other healthy goodies. Also, juices are made fresh to order.
Grilled chicken salad
Marinated grilled chicken tenderloin with grilled halloumi, orange cheeks, kumara crisps, toasted nuts, lime-chilli dressing and aioli.
Mediterranean lamb koftes
Hummus, spiced yoghurt, buckwheat, quinoa, Harissa, greens and mixed nut crumbs
For more information, visit the Twisted Tomato website.
149 POINT CHEVALIER RD
Ph: 09 845 2235
Heading back to the port and taking the ferry back to Auckland CBD, we took an uber to Mission Bay beach.