Kia ora from the southern hemisphere!
After 20 hours of flying and 3 days of volcano hiking, I’m finally in Auckland, where I’ll be living for the next three years. It’s a really nice, modern looking city, and it gets suburban/residential pretty quickly as you move out of the central district, which makes it less overwhelming. Since I didn’t have a place yet when I arrived, I stayed with a nice airbnb couple who live a short walk from City Centre. After arriving late last Friday night after my initial field trip to Ruapehu, I walked around the city for the first time the next day.
After walking down Queen Street, the main street with lots of restaurants and shops on it, I ended up near the harbor.
The city also has some nice parks, including the absolutely massive Auckland Domain (which used to be a volcano!), Auckland’s oldest park that sits just east of the university. I happened to arrive on Anzac Day, the NZ/Australian Memorial Day with particular focus on the Battle of Gallipoli in WWI, so there were a number of celebrations of that as I went around.
I also had a chance to walk around some of the suburbs to get an idea of where I wanted to live, though I didn’t take many pictures, except for a nice Anglican Church in Parnell, a suburb on top of a hill east of the city.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned celebration of Anzac Day meant that lots of stuff was closed all weekend, and people were away on vacation. As a result, I couldn’t actually start most of the things I need to do to get settled in NZ, like start a bank account, register at the university, and make housing inquiries, until Tuesday. And also I got sick, jet lag kicked in, and the weather turned nasty, so I decided to stay inside and write this instead of exploring further.
Nonetheless, I got all those things done over the course of this week, and even found an apartment to boot, which I move into tomorrow! It’s in a really nice suburb called Parnell on a hill just east of the city. The neighborhood is really nice and pretty with lots of shops and pubs, and it’s just a 20-30 minute walk through or around the previously mentioned Auckland Domain, which means I can walk to the university every day if I want (or still take the bus if I’m tired or the weather is bad).
I think that’s enough for now. I don’t like writing too much without photos to go with it. I’ve got fun pictures to share from my trip to Ruapehu right off the plane, but I’m already going back next week (yay fieldwork!), so I’ll save it and do it all at once. And I’ve already got some interesting impressions of the department (hint: geology in NZ involves just as much, if not more, beer than it does everywhere else!), but we’ll get to that soon enough.