Big Little City, Auckland

I lived in New Zealand in 2009 and have been eager to bring Amauri there ever since we met. In fact, I basically met and fell in love with Amauri when we started Skyping each other everyday when he lived in China that same year. It obviously has a very special place in my heart.

Auckland is the biggest city in New Zealand and is often called a “small big city” because of it’s small town feel of 1 million residents. The first thing you will notice is how young and multi-cultural it is. It has the largest Polynesian population in the world and neighboring countries usually come to New Zealand for their Universities and easy living. It’s not uncommon to hear 3 different languages on a bus ride.

The next thing you will notice is the heart attack you will be having from the prices. $15 for a burrito, $10 for a beer, $50 bottle of Pinnacle vodka, $10 for a block of cheese, and $8 for a bottle of ketchup. It’s absurd. The only redeeming factor is that their downtown buses are offered for free. 

Although it is their biggest city, it is minutes away from natural beauty. In less than an hour you can be at the beach and in 20 you can reach Mount Eden, where you can get a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire city. Apparently it was a volcano that erupted several times, the last being over 15,000 years ago.

With such great weather it is hard to stay inside and our favorite activity in Auckland is lounging in one of the many immaculate parks.


Living in New Zealand you will no doubt find the locals to be laid back and super friendly, always willing to chat or throw you a smile. The Canadians of the very deep south. They speak English, and their culture is not so far from America that anyone would have any trouble transitioning here while traveling. 

What you wouldn’t expect is their laid back attitude regarding shoes. Or rather, their attitude about lack of shoes. 

When I think about someone walking around without shoes, I think hippie. Or my dad. (who basically was a hippie) These people take it to another level. Like walking/shopping/jogging/drinking downtown without shoes. Locals don’t bat an eyelash at this attire and welcome the kiwi jiffy-feet types into their businesses. 

Maybe this is their way of saving money, considering jandals (New Zealand word for flip-flops) are a cool $30. While I am not planning on partaking in this trend, I still find it hilarious every time I see someone slapping their feet on the pavement without a care in the world.

Amauri and I often compare the city to Seattle, with an asian twist. It’s beautiful, a little over priced, but easy to see why it consistently ranks high in the most livable cities in the world.

One response to “Big Little City, Auckland

  1. Pingback: 2013 – A Year in Review | Married Nomads·

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