THE BLOG

Asia To Auckland: A Culture Shock

09/04/2013 18:18 BST | Updated 09/06/2013 10:12 BST

This is weird. This is quiet. This is Auckland (AKA The New Big Easy). Where the hell is everybody!? Is it the aftermath of the Easter holidays? ... or is it always like this?

Anyone in their right mind should be enjoying this beautiful serenity. I'm not! ... not after spending the last month in Asia's most hectic cities. This is strange to me and expensive!

Ive just landed in NZ and I'm crying out for fast paced, bustling streets, crammed full of mad sights and sounds. I'm now at the furthest end of the southern hemisphere and quite clearly having a culture shock. You would think after living and commuting in London (not to mention working within the national media for the past umpteen years), changing down a gear would be just the ticket.

The streets here are almost deserted. Restaurants, bars and cafe's I pass are near empty and the shops are ghostly. I feel like I'm in the movie 28 Days (without the zombie's). Maybe a need to look outside the centre?

Wahieki Island is a treasure, a short hop east across the water from Auckland flows with amazing wineries (Casita Miro is particularly nice) and picturesque bays like Onetangi and Palm Beach, which are real gems. However, I just can't get my head around how quiet it is in this corner of the world! Although saying that, I did find Charlie Farley's (in the top corner of Onetangi Beach) for Sunday sundowners buzzing.

Maybe the tide is turning and it'll just take me a few more days to settle down. I don't really know. Maybe I still bit jetlagged and tired from all this travel mullarky?

What I do know is, Ponsonby Road offered me a decent jump start, there are some good bars to hit, SPQR and The Social Club attracts a hub of atmosphere. Parnell is lovely area for coffee shops (as is the more central Lorne Street) and the view of Auckland from Mount Eden (a dormant volcano) is awesome. The Harbour is also well worth a shufty.

So, a new working week is here (following Easter) and Auckland's 1 Million + population re-appear and spring back to life. Phew! That had me worried for a while! The Capital of NZ is a cool place to be. Now to explore more. Why don't you pop over? You'll love it as well and there's plenty of room.