If you’re going to Auckland for any length of time, break up your time in the city with a trip to Waiheke Island. It’s only a half hour ferry ride away so makes for a very easy day trip, but we stayed overnight and fell in love with this little island paradise. The ferry ride over is a great way to see Auckland from a distance and we stopped off at Davenport on the way which had much more colonial style buildings. We also passed Rangitoto, a volcano which you can walk up and apparently has fantastic views from the top.

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Auckland is a city best seen from a distance. From the air you can see both harbours and how far the city sprawls in all directions. From the sea you can see some of the cities volcanoes standing tall above the rest of the city, with the exception of the sky tower which appears to pierce the clouds. Whereas Hong Kong was overwhelming to begin with, Auckland was slightly underwhelming. I’m aware that I’m not really selling the city so far, but bear with me.

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We spent most of our time in Hong Kong in the Kowloon area. We were staying in Mong Kok, famous for its markets and being the most densely populated area in the world. It’s not as shiny and new as Hong Kong Island but there is a lot of development happening along the waterfront and given a few years I don’t it will be long until both sides look a lot more similar.

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We weren’t staying on Hong Kong Island but knew it would be one of the places that we wanted to visit, mainly to go up the Victoria Peak. Taking a short break from our use of the MTR we crossed Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry which was less than ten minutes journey time but a really nice way to see both sides of the harbour.

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I was expecting Hong Kong to be big, loud and overwhelming. I was expecting to feel very much a fish out of water. I’m not really a big city person, and going to Hong Kong was going to be my first experience of being in Asia anyway so I was expecting it to be very different to anything that I had previously experienced. It didn’t disappoint.

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