Waiheke Island

I know, I have been away for several months and like I said, I have been quite busy – moving apartment, getting a new job, seeing some friends getting married, getting married myself, travelling here and there and waiting for my permanent residency (…and still waiting! Not really efficient, the immigration..!). Not writing anything in several months made me forget my French a bit.

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One of the few trips I’ve done while away from my blog was in New Zealand, the country where you can apparently find more sheep than inhabitants, motherland of Frodo Baggins, Monster Cookies, fresh air and huge wild scenaries. Sean and Kristen decided to tie the knot on Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland. And it was truly beautiful!

The flight from Sydney to Auckland with Air New Zealand was pretty short, only 3hrs (with this time, a security video for surf fans – as good as the Lord of the Rings one!). Dimitri, one of our French mates that we met two years ago and who is now living in Auckland, came to fetch us at the airport. Apparently, you have to sell an organ to get that shuttle bus from the airport to the city and public transportation is worse than in Sydney… We went to pick up Juliette  from her work and on the way, we saw big large and clean avenues, very few people in the streets, a really cool and chill vibe (maybe too chill though), a city surrounded by volcanoes everywhere; a super quiet and natural city.

We couldn’t hope for better guides as Juliette and Dimitri. Like us, they have adventurer souls and knew exactly what we wanted to see! They first took us to the beach of Point Chevalier, in the Bay of Auckland. A little unpretentious beach with heaps of nippers and reckless dogs jumping in the water from the pontoon again and again, Kiwis playing chilled little melodies…

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We then went to “climb” Mt Eden to check out its crater. It was one of my favorite spots in Auckland. The access to the crater is actually pretty easy and you don’t necessartly need to have cyclist legs. It’s not really touristy and really quiet. The crater itself was pretty deep and the little plus was the unobstructed view of Auckand and its Bay; but also of the whole city in general with all the volcanoes scattered everywhere around.

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Well after that, we wanted to have a taste of Auckland by night, but we were definitely not prepared enough for it. None of us were really dressed up to go out (shorts and flip flops, haha). Not really a surprise that we were kicked out from all the bars. We still managed to find a place, nice enough, who accepted to serve us! We had so much fun in Auckland thanks to Juliette and Dimitri who really pampered us and we will be back for sure. For longer!

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On the next day, it was already time to leave Auckland for Waiheke Island, where the wedding  of Sean and Kristen would be celebrated. After a quick 35min ferry ride (just enough time to roast under the sun), we finally arrived in paradise! From the ferry, we could see some lush green valleys (typically Kiwi), a translucent and turquoise water, all these below a blazing sun! We decided to walk from the ferry terminal to Onera where our guesthouse was – cheap as we are, we didn’t want to pay for a taxi. Well, we didn’t know how much time it would have taken to walk but the island is relatively small. We crossed a few little super cute beach towns with really nice beachy vibes. It was so hot that it didn’t feel like New Zealand. We were sweating like pigs and so we decided to check out the beach before the drink with all the guests!

We spend the 3rd day hanging out on the little beach, which was located 5min walk from our guesthouse and exploring the area. We could walk from a beach to another by climbing some sharp rocks; going from Oneroa Beach to Little Oneroa Beach and the temperature of the water was just perfect! A beautiful day at the beach before we met the rest of the guests in the English double decker bus which took us to the Mudbrick Restaurant & Vineyard for the wedding.

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The wedding was stunning: from the English double decker bus driving around the island to collect all the guests, the father of the groom playing the bagpipes to announce the big entrance of his daughter to be, the ceremony which was overlooking Huruhi Bay, Pimms galore during the cocktail in the restaurant’s garden, the dinner and the big party; everything was perfect! A wild crazy night that we will all remember for a long time! The wedding, it was a little bit like the cherry on top; it was a beautiful way to end this awesome weekend! Most of us had our flights back to Sydney the next morning. Not a good idea to have a hangover at this moment!

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