It’s the end of the summer season here in Auckland. All the fair weather travellers have gone and the skiers have yet to arrive. That doesn’t mean there is nothing to do. In fact, the climate in Auckland is so mild that you can just about do most things throughout the calendar year. You may have to allow for more frequent changes in weather, the ubiquitous 10 minute cycles of sunny, windy, rainy, and then sunny again, but it’s really not enough to make a visit at this time of year unenjoyable. In fact, you might even like it better without too many fellow tourists around. Dress yourself in crucial layers and you’ll be set to enjoy anything.
Wooly jumper activities
I remember a non-Kiwi friend telling me she thought a wooly jumper was a sheep. Uh…close. The ‘wooly’ part comes from a sheep, but it’s just what we call a sweater. And here in New Zealand, we wear them so often that we’ve invented the best jumper yet, the merino wool jumper. Some people know them by the brand name, Icebreaker. Oh yes, those lovely thin yet warm items you buy in outdoor shops for heaps and heaps of money. You know the ones! Head down Queen Street where you will find a number of retailers selling them for probably a bit cheaper than you’d get at home. Also keep an eye out for other products. Kiwi designers and retailers are now doing all sorts of warm things in merino from T-shirts to hats to dresses.
It’s harvest time and visiting the wineries now means you may catch a glimpse of all the activities. You might even find yourself rolling up your trouser legs to stomp on some grapes.
Rainy weather is no excuse for ignoring the natural beauty that you came here to see. I would even argue that rain makes tramping (hiking) even better in New Zealand. For one, when the earth is dark with rain it really makes the greens pop so everything is even more beautiful. And secondly, rain keeps the temperature down by just the right amount to keep you from sweating too much on the trail. Come prepared with full waterproofs including a jacket with a beaked hood, trousers and boots.
I know the point is really to get wet, but if you are a wimp like me and don’t want to be cold afterward, get your duck suit on first.
The surf is good in Auckland and the waves don’t stop just because it’s getting a bit chilly. Kiwi surfers would never let the cold air stop them getting their fix and neither should you. Don a wetsuit and you can enjoy surfing at Piha Beach (see above photo for enticement) or kayaking in the harbour. What the heck, you can even go snorkelling or diving if you really want to!
Photo courtesy of Marie Szamborski on Flickr