How to have a kid-free weekend in Auckland

I walked into our hotel room to find the windows showing a view to scaffold and plastic wrap. This felt like an inauspicious start to what promised to be an awesome girls weekend in Auckland. Entertainingly, we discovered quickly that if we stood on the deep window sill behind the sofa, there was a small gap in the wrap that enabled a view of the Sky Tower.

After a quick wander down Queen Street to grab a late lunch and the makings of dinner, we returned to our room to rest – I was recovering from surgery and Marion was recovering from a cold – so that we would have enough energy to survive the nights concert.

The great thing about Spark Arena in Auckland is that its walkable from the city. Even for me, who was on strict instructions to “take it easy”, it was manageable (whether I should have done it is a very different question). The not so great thing is that it’s a big venue, so it can take a while to get through security, find a drink and find your seat.

We had AMAZING seats. Far better than I had dared dream of. I was able to see the details of P!nk’s face when she was on our side of the stage, clearly, without needing a zoom on my camera. Front row, unobstructed. If you ever go to see Pink in concert, try for such seats.

After the most sensational arena show I have had the pleasure of attending, we dawdled home via a late night snack at McDonalds Britomart.

Saturday morning saw us missioning down Queen Street and grabbing some of the last spaces on the ferry to Waiheke. The island was lovely to explore, and we both agreed we’d love to go back for a stay on the island – probably mid to late spring (when the weather should be warm but hopefully not hot) and outside of holidays (so it wouldn’t be too busy). The island bus network is small, but covers a lot of places, and what’s not clearly advertised is that there are actually commuter services on the island (in addition to the touristy double-decker), which can be accessed both via the tourist bus pass, and an AT Hop card.

We had a lovely lunch at Wild on Waiheke – an amazing gluten-free pizza, some scrummy fries (crisp outer, soft inner, perfect), and a gorgeous tasting flight of some of their drinks, including hands-down the BEST ginger beer I have ever had. Shame its seasonal and they were out of stock for take-home bottles. The people were friendly, the activities around were family-friendly, if I ever go back to Waiheke, I will 100% stop here.

After a stop-off at Oneroa for a walk on the beach and an ice-cream, we made it to the chaos that was Matiatia Wharf. So many people were on the island that we were shunted between queues and managed to therefore not make it on to either of the two boats departing. Thankfully, it was only a 20 minute wait for another to arrive and we were allowed to board (so we could sit) immediately while we waited for it to fill. Communication was poor about what was happening, so there was a lot of frustration from the others in the line.

A quiet night in the hotel was on the agenda after such a big day!

On our final morning, Jared and his Ms10 came up to the city to hang out with us. We all went up the Sky Tower together – Marions first time – an expensive activity, but something you’ve always got to do once in your life, right? Jared also kindly dropped us at the airport, saving us a bus trip.

It was lovely to have a girls weekend that was city based rather than outdoors. Thanks for the company Marion!

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