Non-Weekend Away ft. Swimming With Sharks!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

On Monday I took my boyfriend Conaugh and I up to Auckland for a cute weekend-but-it's-Monday away. This was his Christmas and birthday present from me because the dates are so close together, I figured a date not-weekend would be the perfect gift.

Our schedule was
1) fly to Auckland,
2) shop, eat, kill time until we
3) check into our hotel,
4) do hotel stuff,
5) go out for dinner on the Viaduct,
6) sleep.
7) Have buffet breakfast then
8) check out of hotel,
9) go to Kelly Tarltons,
11) and finally disembark and fly home

If you couldn't tell by the capitalisation, I booked us at Kelly Tarltons (an aquarium) a chance to swim with the sharks in a shark cage! But more on that later...

Day vs night view from our balcony

Musicians who have stayed at the hotel were we at have autographed albums

Monday began with a lowkey sleep-in and a quick Uber to the airport. Luckily for us, our plane had been delayed do we got to wonder around for a bit whist waiting to board. Even luckily-er for me, Silvermoon had a sale on and I got the most gorgeous ring for half price form Pandora!

Once we actually arrived in Auckland we wondered around to kill time then finally checked into our hotel. The hotel was amazing; we were on the eighteenth floor and got a view out onto the harbour. Despite my impression from the website, our room didn't have a bath BUT the hotel itself had a spa and sauna! I don't know about Conaugh, but I felt very out of place at our fancy hotel. Inevitably, after a nap we went to the spa and sauna, which was so so nice on my very tense back.

T-Bone Steak and Carbonara

For dinner we went to a bar on the Viaduct called Neptune. I was set on getting a steak, which for some reason a lot of places on the Viaduct don't do, and Conaugh wanted something cheesy. The location of this bar meant that as we sat outside we could see the water and the Harbour Bridge, and got to watch the sun set over the skyline. Sah romatic!

The following day we had to check-out of our hotel at noon and had an hour to kill before we were due at Kelly Tarltons for our shark dive. Even though we got to have a buffet breakfast at the hotel (bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, berries, yoghurt...) we were still hungry so we ventured off to find a cute cafe to get something to fill our stomaches. We stumbled upon this little Cafe and Bar called The Occidental which made me feel like we were walking the pavement of Paris or London (it was Belgium so I was close!)

I had an iced chocolate and Conaugh had a Hot Chocolate. Whilst Conaugh was waiting for his to cool down a pigeon pooed on the newspaper that he was reading, which I found incredibly hilarious, and still do!

All the fishies and non-fishies!

FINALLY we were due at Kelly Tarltons! As the shark tank was near the end of the aquarium and we arrived early, we got to have a wonder around and look at all the animals. Above is a collection of my favourite photos I took along the way. 

Fun fact: when I was in year 6 my school went on a trip to Auckland for a week and we stayed in Kelly Tarltons and I slept underneath the stingray tank!

When we got to swim with the sharks each of us (there were three other guys with us) were given a GoPro and we could video whatever we wanted. I edited down the twenty minutes of footage into five minutes so you can watch what I got to see here!

The experience itself was so exciting; we were in a big 2mx2m cage that was made of rope mesh on the sides and thick clear plastic on the bottom, meaning we got a full 360 degree view of the shark tank. We floated on the surface of the water with one of the staff members pushing us along the tank whist we had free reign on the cage and could swim around and follow the sharks and fish around. The shark tank is overtop of an underwater walkway with a conveyerbelt that visitors can stand and experience the tank without going inside (you'll see what I mean about halfway through the video)

A view of the cage we were in from underneath the tank

We saw a heap of sharks, they were so close we could have probably touched them! Obviously we didn't because the oils on our skin can hurt the skin of the sharks. We even saw a few stingrays, one that I'd estimate to be at least five minutes in diameter swam underneath us a couple of times!

Conaugh told me that as soon as we got out of the tank that I had "won all of the girlfriend points" which I was pretty chuffed with as I wasn't completely sure if this was going to be something he'd enjoy, but he really did!


Hope you enjoyed this whee vloggy post! Have you ever done anything like this before?

- Louise x

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