The past few days have passed quickly. After leaving Auckland CBD, it was nice to settle into our Ponsonby pad. We were only there for a few days, but this Auckland suburb was great! We were feeling ambitious and walked in the rain the mile from our hotel in CBD to Ponsonby. Always good to think about the hills on the walks. We are still spoiled by the not to many hills in our neighborhood of Denver. There were hills. Lots of hills. It was still really neat to see the different parts and neighborhoods of the city as we walked through. After a few moments to unpack, we set out for to explore the hood.
Ponsonby (pronounced Pawn -son -bee which I now only say in a British/Kiwi accent or my variation of) is a hip neighborhood with lots of cool eateries and watering holes. Even Ponsonby Central has a great sense of humor:
Ponsonby Central is full of fun eateries, a small market, coffee shop, and housewares store. Every time we thought we reached the end of Ponsonby Central, there was more tucked away.
Apparently, Ponsonby also has one of the best Christmas light experiences in all of New Zealand. Franklin Road is renowned for their Christmas lights. 105 out of 115 houses decorate their houses with lights. It was a pretty fun thing to experience.
This house actually blew bubbles out of their window that made it look like snow. Made it feel a little more magical and a bit more like what we think of Christmas weather.
Disco Christmas anyone?
This local business set up a Kiss-mas booth. You touch the screen and it takes a pic of you (kissing or not). They upload the pics and you can see them on their facebook page. We were mesmerized by the arrows.
A little dark, but Auckland at night. There’s our mental compass navigator, the Sky Tower.
One day, after work, we decided to walk to Mt Eden, the local volcano in the city. Volcano in the city?! Yes! It didn’t look quite like we expected a volcano to look like (we pictured Mt. Doom from Lord of the Rings or rocky crags and steaming lava). It was about an hour walk from the Ponsonby pad across town.
The top of the volcano. No lava, instead a sea of grass, dancing in the wind.
The view of the city at the top. For it being a local attraction, it wasn’t very crowded. The blowing of the wind through the grass and trees was the only sound we heard for a while. Strange to be so close to the city and have such quiet.
More views from the top. Beautiful. Another blustery day. Will’s hat flew off a few times and he had to run after it. I had trouble even holding the camera still. If you go to Auckland, take the walk up the big hills to the top. It’s worth it.
A few things we realized during our time in Ponsonby:
- The hills are not alive with the sound of music…but they’re everywhere
- If you want a regular cup of coffee, expect a french press and it’s way more affordable to do it yourself
- Kiwi beer is still not so good
- It’s weird celebrating the holidays in summer weather.
- Summer weather does not equal sunshine, but it is warm