One Day in Auckland, New Zealand

Jessica Peterson

I guess the biggest compliment you can give a city is to start looking for an apartment there. It’s the equivalent to getting down on one knee (unless, of course, moving is your hobby, or divorce, but I digress…). I may or may not have been interested in a city center one-bedroom with more amenities than square footage. I also may or may not have been eyeing some editorial jobs online. Time will tell…

How was that for hype?

Wait, I’m not done.

Let’s talk about something other than my insatiable wanderlust. Let’s talk about Auckland! Such a cool city. Truth be told, the hubs and I only spent one day in the city center, but it wasn’t for Auckland’s lack of charm. We simply had a crazy itinerary to keep. We needed to drive 1,600 miles in a campervan on the wrong side of the road to 6 cities across 2 islands in 8 days minus a working stereo (or a bath, for that matter) all without killing each other, and of course, in a leisurely manner because, Great Scott, this is a vacation! Boy, do I know how to plan ’em. I will eventually get to the nitty gritty of living in a van (down by the river), but lest I bury the lede any deeper…

We spent Day 2 of The Great New Zealand Campervan Caper in modern port city of Auckland. We had no agenda and didn’t need one. Strolling from café to café, pub to pub, and exploring the wharf one boat at a time made for a pleasant and picturesque day. We enjoyed cappuccino and gelato at Valentino’s Gelato, savory mussels with Mojitos and beer at The Occidental, and an awesome Margherita at Pizza Fresco, because what’s better than a pizza with a rocket salad on top?

As a photographer and city girl at heart, I eat up historical architecture. I found my new favorite street, the impossibly charming Vulcan Lane, home to The Occidental, a classic pub with beer that tastes like ice cream, but in a good way, so says the hubs. The hubs spent no little amount of time admiring sail boats and yachts at the wharf as we watched the sun go down. Auckland has a heady Seattle meets Barcelona vibe and I must admit it was love at first sight.

Auckland’s hypodermic needle to heaven, Sky Tower


A yacht. With a helipad. And an actual helicopter.


No, this was not the name of our campervan 


The charming, pedestrian-only Vulcan Street


Colonial, Baroque, Deco, Gothic, swoon… It’s all preserved in Auckland



Jessica Peterson
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Jessica Peterson

Jessica Peterson is a travel filmmaker, photographer, and journalist. She released her first documentary film about indigenous culture on Guam in 2016, after having lived nearly 7 years on the Pacific island. Jessica is currently on the Great American Roadtrip in her Airstream trailer.
Jessica Peterson
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  • Zoe

    I know this is an older post but I am just so glad to see a positive post about Auckland! Pretty much every blog I’ve read berates my hometown saying it’s boring and ugly, so it’s nice to hear that someone liked it. If you ever go back try going to the suburbs or west coast beaches 🙂

    • Hi Zoe. Those people are stupid and don’t know what they’re talking about. Thanks for reading!