As the last stage of my round-the-world trip I visited New Zealand. That’s possibly the farthest I could travel in this planet, since the exact antipodes (point on the Earth’s surface which is diametrically opposite) of Madrid are in New Zealand’s North Island.
I arrived in Auckland early December and was lucky enough to strike great weather, which makes this a very nice city. While hosting 1/3 of the country’s population, it has more of the feel of a lovely smallish city but with endless, sprawling suburbs. Sailing is a big thing in Auckland and the views from the harbour are just fantastic.
Auckland is known for having a very interesting ethnic mix. Indeed, foreign visitors walking in the street or clubbing often exclaimed: “how weird!“, just because we’re not used to seeing such different people mingling together anywhere else. White kiwis and aboriginal Māoris couldn’t be more different. They’re joined in huge numbers by Pacific Islanders coming from a variety of islands in the Polynesia and elsewhere, which makes Auckland the city with more Pacific Islander inhabitants in the world. In recent years, European immigration has diminished in favour of Asian countries like China, Korea and India. So you can probably imagine the mix; multiculturalism is as real as it gets in Auckland.
There is also some room for Spanish culture, or so it felt on my first day. My friends Pablo and Lili, expats in Auckland, picked me up from the airport and invited me to a very Spanish home-cooked meal in their house, to the delight of their Asian friends.
Later that evening, I went to much-awaited outdoors music festival called ‘Christmas in the Park’, sponsored by Coca Cola. The whole city seemed to be there for the occasion.
Another great view of the city can be struck from the crater of the volcano at Mount Eden, if you go on a clear day.
From Auckland I kicked off my quick trip around New Zealand. Some more tips and facts in my next posts.