8 Months In Auckland: Highs & Lows

I moved to Auckland 8 months ago, which is bizarre in so many ways. Firstly, I have always been super adamant that I would NEVER move to Auckland, and secondly, how has it been eight months already?!

For all my whining about Auckland over the years (okay it’s not really that bad, but yes I still prefer Wellington and I plan on moving back once I’m done with my degree), I have managed to build myself a happy little life up here, and have found some rad things that I guess I like about this big city. So here we go, because you all know how much I love a good list.

HIGHS

-The food. Auckland is a freaking amazing place to be vegan. There’s Sunflower Thai Vegan, an entirely vegetarian/vegan restaurant and omg it’s amazing. There’s Il Buco where you can get some awesome vegan pizza. There’s Tart Bakery which is my new addiction because EVERYTHING IS VEGAN and there’s croissants and danishes and orange chocolate slice and it makes me so happy. I have a number of cafes I still have to try, like Lord of the Fries.
So yeah, it’s pretty rad on the food front, and I love food, so this is a very good thing.

-GoodFor Refillery. Shortly after moving here I discovered that Grey Lynn is home to a whole foods refillery. You BYO jar or container and just fill it up with all the dried goods ever – they have the most amazing selection of tea, grains, baking goods, spices, it’s just a foodie/cooking person heaven. ALSO they have things like oil, cider vinegar, dishwashing liquid, shampoo and conditioner on tap so you can just bring your bottle and refill. It’s so so awesome because I’m always trying to take steps to be as eco-friendly as I can, so a place like this makes that super easy.

-Sylvia Park. Okay I realise that all the highs so far have been things you can eat or buy, but come on, food is life, and I have a slight shopping addiction. But come on team, I now live 8 minutes from Sylvia Park which is the BEST MALL EVER, because it has H&M and Zara! I’m so obsessed with both of these shops and have added some brilliant pieces to my wardrobe thanks to these shops. Wellington doesn’t have either of these two so it’s a huge draw for Auckland.

-Waterfalls! Back in April, my lovely BFF came to visit for Easter weekend. So we did what anyone does on an Easter weekend. We went for a walk to explore one of Auckland’s beautiful waterfalls. There are some stunning parts of Auckland that I’m so eager to explore, including a bunch more waterfalls.

-Weather. I’ve lived in Wellington for my whole life and have gotten super used to the wind, it doesn’t really bother me. BUT. Auckland? Life without it being constantly windy? What a freaking game changer. I can put some lip balm/lipstick on, and MY HAIR DOESN’T IMMEDIATELY STICK TO MY FACE WHEN I LEAVE THE HOUSE. And I can eat ice cream whilst walking down the street without eating my hair at the same time. How often do I walk down the street whilst eating ice cream? Not that often. BUT I CAN IF I WANT TO. It makes life so easy.

-Decent beaches. Okay, I’m so sorry Wellington, but the beaches there? Are shit! I can think of 2 decent beaches in Wellington. But here in Auckland? Tons of beautiful beaches. The weather has been wonderful recently, and one afternoon when both me and my GF had early finishes, we took a spontaneous trip to the beach with a can of pringles and tons of sunscreen and soaked up some sunshine. It was GLORIOUS. Beaches here are rad.

-Access to concerts. One of my few complaints about Wellington has always been that big international musicians rarely come to Wellington for concerts. It’s usually Auckland and Christchurch. I know that there’s the obvious option of flying to Auckland or Christchurch, but it adds an extra cost to go to what is usually an already expensive event. But now? I’ve booked tickets to Ed Sheeran and Pink next year, and I AM SO EXCITED I COULD LITERALLY DIE. So that’s like 1 million points to Auckland. But who’s counting…

-The people. I’ve made some pretty awesome friends at university, I can hang with good old friends who live here, and I’ve recently started a new job working with a bunch of amazing people. I know there are people everywhere, but I’m really thankful for the friends I’ve made here. More on that in another post!

-Being in love. I won’t go on about this too much, but mere weeks after moving here I met my now girlfriend. I’m completely madly in love and happier than I ever imagined possible. Knowing that it’s quite likely that we would never have met if I hadn’t moved here, it makes the whole living in Auckland thing pretty good. I’ll stop there, because I could literally talk forever about how insanely happy and lucky I feel and how wonderful my girlfriend is…

LOWS

Driving. Put simply, driving in Auckland sucks. It’s a massive city so it takes eons to get anywhere, people here are generally crappier/meaner drivers, the traffic is a nightmare and the roads are confusing AF.

-The weather. Yah I know this was in the highs but SUPER HOT HUMIDITY WHILST IT POURS WITH RAIN?! What game are you playing, Auckland weather gods?

-Parking. Okay this kind of goes with the driving part but $12 for an hour of parking in the CBD is ROBBERY. It’d be fine if I lived closer to the CBD and could public transport my way there because there’s so much of the CBD that I haven’t explored. But I live the opposite of close to the CBD. Parking just sucks in Auckland. End of.

-I miss my Wellington peeps. Flights to Welly are cheap and short, but I’m a broke, busy student. Yes, I’ve made a rad little life for myself here, but I of course still miss my friends and family down in Wellington.

-I don’t know the city very well. I lived in Wellington for my whole life, I know that city like the back of my hand. It’s a comforting feeling, knowing not just your surroundings but the whole city. I’ve been here 8 months and I still have to use maps if I’m going anywhere except my local supermarket etc. I know it takes time, but it would be nice to not be so reliant on Google Maps.

I’m a little surprised that I have more highs than lows. I guess it just goes to show that we humans are pretty good at adapting. I try to make the most of any situation/find the positives.
If I just sat around and complained about how stupid Auckland is for the next 2 years, I’d probably feel pretty miserable. So I’ll keep focusing on the highs. But if one more driver cuts me off in the MASSIVE multi-lane roundabouts that I constantly have to drive through, I will have some choice words for Auckland.

Where are you from? Where do you live now? What are the highs and lows of your cities? I’d love to know!

Till next time!

Lula xxxxx

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  • Cheryl Astley

    These are some of my highs and lows too! Good list!

    • Thanks, and thanks for reading 🙂

  • Life long Aucklander and I still rage about parking and traffic!!!

    • Haha I guess no matter what, it’s hella annoying!!

  • I was also one to say I’d never live in Auckland…and yet I still am, 4 years after moving here. Yikes.
    I hate the humid weather too – what is this?! Urgh!
    I do have to agree with you on your highs though; it can be a lot of fun here, if you can get to your destination through the terrible traffic. 😀
    Great post!

    • I guess it’s whether or not you’re happy here 🙂
      The humidity is totally insane right?! The first couple of weeks I was here (early March) I was miserable because it was just so humid and sticky, it was awful.
      It definitely can be fun 🙂
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!