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I always love arriving back in New Zealand – swooping down over the beautiful blue ocean, hearing the kiwi accent, and seeing the familiar products and packaging of the candy in the airport kiosk.
After clearing immigration and gathering our bags, we made our way through customs, out into the beautiful, fresh morning, picked up our rental car and navigated to downtown Auckland and the passport office.
I was thrilled when I discovered I would be able to renew my New Zealand passport – I had let it expire, with life being busy, the belief that NZ wasn’t recognizing dual citizenship, and being able to travel on my American passport, meant I hadn’t paid it much attention. But, reluctant to renounce my New Zealand citizenship permanently, I called to see about my options before leaving America, and consequently we found ourselves searching for 99 Albert St and the official New Zealand passport renewal forms.
Eager to have our first taste of “kiwi tucker”, we walked down to the Viaduct Harbour for lunch, settling on Sierra, as the kids were hungry and grumpy and had no patience for me inspecting each and every item on each and every menu to choose the absolute best place to dine. After our first glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and taste of Fish and Chips, we did the bare minimum of sightseeing – Sky City. It was an incredible panoramic view of Auckland, the sky walkers, sky jumpers and straight down through the glass in the floor, to the street below.
Then it was time to make the 1 1/2 hour drive to visit family.

We also enjoyed a brief taste of Auckland on our way out of the country, two weeks later.  Safran, a Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant, located in the Newmarket area, offered a lovely selection of Tapas, a final glass of delicious New Zealand Pinot Noir, and a small park out front, where the kids ran and played before boarding the long flight home. It was difficult to choose a favorite from our tapas selection, the Pan Fried Mussels, Chilli Prawns, Scotch Fillet, Meatballs, Quabapa (beef sausages), Paprika Chicken, or Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad – each was delicious.

Chili Prawns at Safran