ibis Budget Hotel Auckland Airport – Update

In 2014 I moaned (First World problems) about the lack of tea and coffee making facilities and fridge in the rooms at ibis Budget Hotel Auckland Airport. However a  recent early morning flight out of Auckland, and the chance to save some dollars, meant I decided to forego the lack of facilities and return to the hotel.

On check in to my $107 room I almost did a happy dance when I saw a fridge and what I needed to make a hot drink. So if you’re after a cheap sleep and a cup of tea in a comfortable budget … Read the rest

Paying it forward in Auckland

Walking up Queen Street in Auckland recently I passed a man sitting with his belongings outside the Louis Vuitton store. Framed in the window above the man’s head was a handbag with Vincent Van Gogh’s art work all over it. It struck me that Vincent Van Gogh would likely have more in common with the man sitting on the street than he would with someone who could afford to buy a designer handbag.

The homeless people on Queen Street are the visible homeless, there are many more, some sleep in cars and some live in overcrowded accommodation.

We should be … Read the rest

Merry Christmas in lights from Franklin Road, Ponsonby

Every year on 1 December the Christmas lights are switched on in Franklin Road in Ponsonby, Auckland. These photos were taken in December 2015 but the road will look similar this year.

The lights are popular and this can lead to traffic queues. Our tip is to catch an InnerLink bus to Ponsonby, exiting near Franklin Road. Walk down one side of Franklin Road and up the other, you see much more this way and are also part of the festive atmosphere. When you’re done, catch the bus back to your starting point, happily dazzled. Thanks Franklin Road residents.… Read the rest

More Auckland Street Art

Following on from the Auckland Street Art post, I walked around the K’ Road area with a 2015 All Fresco Public Art Festival* map in hand. I couldn’t find all 10 new works and I think a couple may have been painted over, or I was looking in the wrong place. Here’s five I did find:

The striking portrait by Owen Dippie is on the side of an apartment building on Canada Street (at the top of Upper Queen Street). You can see ‘Hine’ from the motorway, beats looking at the traffic that’s for sure. (Number 6 on the map).… Read the rest

The Cat Lounge in Glenfield, Auckland

*Unfortunately The Cat Lounge closed on 21 August 2018. Barista Cats in Auckland city is still operating.*

New Zealand’s first cat cafe – The Cat Lounge, opened in Glenfield, Auckland in early November. I went along last week for a look see. I stepped into a smart black and white cafe with a big Thank You wall acknowledging all those who contributed to The Cat Lounge via crowd funding platform Kickstarter.

Two glass doors separate the cat lounge from the cafe, you can take food and drink in with the cats but I chose to have coffee and … Read the rest

Cool Kai & Coffee Carts

The grande dame of kai (food) carts in New Zealand is The White Lady. Owned continuously by the Washer family since 1948, The White Lady has been serving thirsty and hungry Aucklanders 7 nights a week for more than 60 years. You’ll find The White Lady (mark III) doing the late shift every night on Commerce Street in the CBD.

Food trucks are becoming popular on our city streets, especially in Auckland and a few photos are included along with the carts. Where possible links are included for the trucks and carts so you can find them on your … Read the rest

Cheap Auckland Activities – Treasure Island & Around The World Mini Golf

It’s Talk Like A Pirate Day on 19 September and Miniature Golf Day on 21 September so if you want to bring out your inner pirate and mini golfer here are two courses to putt on, and two tips to get you a cheap round.

Treasure Island, Tom Pearce Drive, Auckland 
Treasure Island is a pirate themed mini golf course walking distance from Auckland Airport. There are two 18 hole courses – choose cave or ship. We chose ship and watched a lone shark circling a stranded and scruffy pirate.

Booms from the ship’s cannon surprised us more than once, … Read the rest

Street Art in Central Auckland

Also see More Auckland Street Art (2016)

Years ago I was leaving Sydney by train, there was so much tagging and graffiti on walls and wagons with so many angles, layers and colours it turned into one long amazing art work to me. From that experience I was primed to appreciate art on the street, the kind that brightens up backs of buildings and dull concrete walls.

Street artists like Owen Dippie (OD) are being commissioned for projects like ‘Larger Than Life’ – a series of murals on Tauranga’s walls. Supporters of the project hope it will attract tourists, it’s … Read the rest

A Stylish Stay – Hotel DeBrett, Auckland

If you’re looking for a stylish stay in downtown Auckland, Hotel DeBrett ticks the box.

There are 25 individually styled rooms and suites, we spent the night in a Classic Room. I loved the colour bursts of orange in our room, especially in contrast with the classic black and white ensuite. There was plenty of natural light and we looked out over High and Shortland Streets, double glazing kept the city sounds away.

You stand on 100% New Zealand striped wool carpet throughout the hotel, but it was the goose down mattress topper that was even more dreamy than … Read the rest

A cheap sleep at Auckland Airport – ibis budget hotel

Updated post – 14/2/2018

I’ve never slept in an airport, I should have in Prague when flight delays meant I arrived in an unfamiliar city late at night with no accommodation booked. Lesson learned, ever since I’ve pre-booked a bed for my first night. Curiously there’s a website devoted to Sleeping in Airports, Auckland Airport comes out on top for the South Pacific.

Personally I need a decent sleep so I’m not wrecked for my next day of travel. To bypass traffic and to make an early start not quite so early we stayed at ibis budget hotel, … Read the rest