The next morning was Craig’s birthday which started with him opening some cards we had brought away with us but unfortunately this was about the extent of a normal birthday for him. Having been away for 11 weeks we were now both in dire need of a haircut so Craig headed off to Boar & Blade and Katy headed for Dry & Tea. We then met up back at Rudi’s Rooftop Brewing Co. this time for some lunch to go along with our drinks! And so began the birthday celebrations…
Next stop was Holey Moley Golf Club, a bar with an 18 hole crazy golf course. The hole’s were all themed - including the Simpsons, E.T., the Flintstones, Tetris, the Hobbit and Evel Kinevel. It was so much fun and we both managed a hole in one! Unfortunately the birthday boy did not win...
After an eventful afternoon at Holey Moley we made our way back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Booked as another birthday surprise, Craig had been thrown off the scent multiple times as to where we were going and was not expecting it when we arrived at the Sky Tower for dinner at the Orbit 360 restaurant at the top. We both had a delicious steak for dinner along with an amazing local red wine (apparently turning 28 has matured Craig’s tastebuds enough for red!!). We were there long enough to enjoy two full rotations of the restaurant - one during daylight and the other at night! Dinner was followed by a couple drinks at the hotel bar then the gift that made up for Craig having no other presents - Scotland winning against Samoa!
Birthday celebrations continued into the next day for the history buff of the relationship as after a quick breakfast at Chuffed Cafe we made our way to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the exhibitions included the history of the Maori (including the history of Maori tattooing which Craig was particularly interested in!), a volcano experience and the history of New Zealand’s part in both conflicts in the 20th century.
The museum took up the majority of our day so we were quite happy to spend the evening sharing a pizza from Sal’s New York Pizzeria and watching the latest episode of the Great British Bake Off.
The initial plan for Craig’s birthday had been to climb Mount Eden however it was quite wet on Monday so we decided to push it back to Wednesday which had a better forecast. We had no such luck come Wednesday morning, so we made the decision that we couldn’t come all the way to Auckland and not do it! So we wrapped up in our waterproofs and headed out to face the wind and rain. Thankfully we were rewarded at the top with the rain stopping briefly and being able to see some blue sky!
We spent our last afternoon and evening in Auckland enjoying the mod cons of our hotel room as it was time to get the bags packed back up, ready to begin our 5 week campervan journey!