Last week I was in Auckland for the Corporate PA Summit, I’d never been before and LOVED it. It is really far away it’s true and such a beautiful part of the planet. I packed for autumn (UK style Autumn not New Zealand style autumn…) that consisted mostly of jeans, jumpers and boots. Of course the day after I arrived I sat on Oneroa Beach on Waheike Island in 25 degree heat with my jeans rolled up, such a Brit abroad!
I stayed at the Hilton Auckland (review to follow), which is in the CBD, it has amazing views and it was super relaxing being surrounded by fresh air and water. The restaurant was great too. Usually when I’m working at a conference I lay low in my room living on room service but this restaurant is especially inviting, bright and open, with very good food to boot! (Although the local Feijoa juice didn’t win me over, however, pineapple lumps now you’re talking…!).
I had an awesome time at the conference and met so many friendly, open, warm, smart PA’s from many different industries who educated me on such things as place names beginning with ‘WH’ that are actually pronounced ‘F’ which proved educational and hysterical, particularly ‘Whakatane and Whakapapa’.
I found a great hair salon in Ryder (thanks for the Waiheke Island tip), Mexicali – a very good fast food Mexican joint, Limon – a delicious Spanish restaurant who made some great veggie lentil balls. Y-Not – who made me the tastiest Margarita pizza, FISH restaurant at the Hilton was fabulous, well worth a walk down the wharf if you’re not staying at the hotel itself.
The Sky Tower is a real attraction; you can go up 60 floors and see a 360-degree view of Auckland, which I did. Going at this time of year meant it was out of the tourist season and super quiet so there were just three of us up there. It’s a breathtaking view, VERY high, I’m not great with heights so I clung as close to the centre as I could. If you are brave (and bonkers!) there is a skywalk and a skyjump you can also do. I didn’t…
If it weren’t for the 32 hours door-to-door journey, I’d go back in a flash. The eleven hour time difference was tricky for work but I figured as I was in front of the UK I was actually in the future which meant I could predict what could possibly go wrong before it did.