"Aotearoa" is the most widely known and accepted Marori name for New Zealand. That's just where we've landed.
March 23rd never happened for us: we left Santiago on the 22nd and landed in Auckland on the 24th. We "passed" the custom test: no fruits, no seeds, no nothing is allowed when you touch down in Kiwi Land otherwise you're on for a hefty fine. Many posters are on display to remind it to you.
We had arranged a shuttle service and our timing was perfect. Still fresh off the plane we jumped straight into the van and 30mins later we arrived at Hannah's house. It's 6am, everybody is asleep so we laid down and finished our night on the kitchen floor.
An hour or so later we meet Hannah, her housemate Steve and couple of girls from ... Argentina. It's a nice transition from South America and we get to speak a bit more
Hanna's house is in front of Kingsland train station, 18 minutes away from the downtown Auckland.
On our first day we walked around the city area and visited the war museum with a German student and a couple of girls we met on our way there. They are from ... Argentina and just found a job in the north. We decided to go for the guided tour with Nick, a funny 65yo + undergrad student who made the Kiwi history interesting. Not that it's not interesting but you know, it's usually easy to make any country's history boring.
On the 25th we went for the harbour cruise, hoping to hop on and hop off the many islands in the bay. Unfortunately the weather decided otherwise and we stayed onboard the whole time. We walked back home, passing by the very long Queen Street and its many shops. The end of it is full of sushi restaurants it feels like you got lost somewhere in Tokyo.
The weather was not the best over the next couple of days so we decided to start planning our rooooooad triiiiiiiiiip. There are so many things to do in NZ and we only have 23 days. As usual you need to make choices, accept that you'll miss out on nice places but at the end of the day there's no wrong decision. We know that every decision we take will turn into some kind of fun adventure, which is why we are travelling.
p.s. After South America, New Zealand seemed too "easy" in some ways. The restrooms were clean, had toilet paper and running water and were free and Yumi could understand everything everyone was saying (instead Thomas would have to ask for translation of the Kiwi accent).