City Sundays: Auckland, New Zealand

Author: , September 27th, 2015

City Sundays: Auckland

Hey all,

We’re launching a new weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.

Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest and most populous urban area in the country. The city has a subtropical climate, with warm, humid summers and mild, damp winters. It is home to many cultures. The majority of inhabitants claim European – predominantly British and/or Irish – descent, but substantial Māori, Pacific Islander and Asian communities exist as well. (Wikipedia)

Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?

Do you wanna go?

Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:

Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club

Check out our Auckland page here:

http://www.purpleroofs.com/southpacific/newzealand/nzauckland.html

And our Auckland articles on the blog here:

http://purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog/?s=auckland

Dolly Travels: From Auckland to Rotorua

Author: , September 24th, 2015

Calves in New Zealand - Dolly GoolsbyHello, or Kia Ora,

Oh, there is so much to tell you about this wonderful country of New Zealand, I find that I must write something before I go to sleep tonight.

We had a beautiful drive down from Auckland yesterday. The weather was sunny; just a few puffy white clouds up high, and we had miles and miles to travel. We traveled by way of the motorway, which in the United States we would call a freeway. We drove past field after field of green rolling hills. I had expected to see many flocks of sheep with new baby lambs; however, it has been ten years since my last visit to New Zealand, and the North Island, where we are now, has become more of a dairy country. In fact, dairy products presently are the largest industry in the North Island. Therefore, I did get to see many herds of cattle in the green fields.

Our tour company. Overseas Adventure Travel, had arranged a home-hosted lunch for our group. We were welcomed by Ray and Dorothy to their home on an organic dairy farm. We were told this is the third generation now that has owned this farm. What a delightful few hours we got to spend with these two people. After we had eaten, Ray explained how they originally were certified as an organic farm and what they, as farmers, need to do to keep that certification. Then they took us on a tour of Dorothy’s garden, and we got to see the new farm babies… the calves.

Now here are some of the babies. I just wanted to squeeze these cute little creatures. Ray told me to let one suck on my fingers, but I knew better than to do that, if I wanted my fingers back.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to visit with both of these friendly people, and I was so happy to get to gently hug one of the babies.

Since the day was still very pleasant and sunny, our guide, Aaron, had the bus driver take us to an area where we could go on a short hike, only about a mile or so, to the headwaters of the Blue Spring, the source of most of the bottled spring water in the North Island. The water is so clear and so blue. The green water grasses were just such a contrast to the blue water.

We followed the stream for another hundred meters or so, then we had to retrace our steps back to the waiting bus. There were some other tourists at the spring. One young man decided he would jump into the water. He did that, we heard a scream, and he jumped right out of the water. The water is freezing cold! Silly boy.

That little trek was such a nice surprise side trip that Aaron had planned for us. As we are finding out, Aaron has such a love for his native New Zealand, and such a passion for these unique experiences, that we know the rest of this two week trip is going to be quite an adventure, with delightful surprises when Aaron can work them into our itinerary.

Finally, in the late afternoon, we arrived in Rotoruta. We checked into this very lovely Waiora Resort, right on the shores of the lake. After a delicious gourmet dinner, we all retired early; a group of some very tired but happy travelers. We knew we had another busy day ahead of us, so I, for one, was not the least bit reluctant to do this. This resort has the nicest amenities. I was not expecting to find a hot water bottle in my bathroom cabinet, but I filled it with hot water, put it into my bed, and went to sleep very happy. I hadn’t even seen a hot water bottle since I was a kid, so this new treat brought back happy childhood memories, and I slept, dreaming only happy dreams.

So I will say goodnight to each of you now, and will continue telling you more about New Zealand tomorrow.

Good night, all.

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | New Zealand Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels: Auckland, New Zealand

Author: , September 21st, 2015

Auckland, New ZealandKia Ora,

Hello, or welcome, to New Zealand. I hope you are ready to share this magnificent country with me. Unfortunately, for you, your experience will be what I hope I can convey through my writing, as well as the pictures that I am able to send along with the writing.

First, I want to say to you, I have been to New Zealand before…ten years ago, with this same company, Overseas Adventure Travel. Since that time, most of my travels have been in Europe, or Mexico, or Costa Rica. However, always in the back of my mind, was this running thought: I simply must see New Zealand again. I had found this country to be the greenest country I had ever visited. The rolling hills, the volcanos, now extinct, so therefore, green. I remember seeing the new lambs, frolicking about in the green fields, for this is springtime here in New Zealand, which is lambing season. Daffodils and calla lilies growing wild on the hillsides.

> Yesterday morning, after a very long plane ride (13 hours from Los Angeles), I arrived in Auckland. At the airport I was met by our group leader, Aaron. After going through Customs, I met 4 other group members, who had been on my flight. Aaron led us to a bus, we boarded and started on our way to downtown Auckland. Aaron, who is a New Zealander and very passionate about this country, decided we needed some exercise after our long flight. Therefore, he had our bus driver take us up to Mount Eden, a suburb of Auckland. We walked from the bus to the top of the mountain. From the viewpoint at the top, we could look down at the city, the 2 harbors.

Finally, we arrived at our lovely hotel, the CityLife Auckland. What a good feeling to check into my room, have a wonderful shower, and relax for a bit, before joining Aaron on a short tour of the city on foot. The hotel is very near the Marina. Aaron pointed to some historic buildings that were interspersed with modern structures. We ended our tour at the Marina, near the Ferry Building.

Some of us went to lunch at the Crab Shack on the waterfront. What a meal! I just wanted a fish sandwich – I do believe it was the biggest fish sandwich I have ever seen, and it was delicious. I had to ask for help from my dining companions to finish the French fries.

Later, we went to dinner with the entire group to another fine restaurant on the waterfront. I was still full from lunch, but I was able to make a sizable dent in my red snapper entree.

When we got back to the hotel, I didn’t waste anytime getting to bed. By 8:30 p.m.on this our first day, we had crossed the International date line, our new time zone was 19 hours ahead of California time. My mind and body was so tired. I slept very well, and woke up feeling much better this morning.

Our Tour Leader, Aaron, had arranged for us to go on a walk with Prince Davis, a member of the local Maori tribe, Ngati Whatua. I cannot spell or pronounce his Maori name. Davis is a Welsh name that he goes by. As he talked, we learned so much about the Maori history in New Zealand. He also sang some story-songs to us, telling us about sharing. What a lovely tenor voice he has! He used his hands, also, reminding me of the hula singers in Hawaii.

Prince Davis walked us through the park and into a building that contained the most beautiful flowers, all that grow in New Zealand now, that are not native to this country. Later, Prince’s wife met us in the park. She had set up a table with native kiwi fruit, tea, coffee, cheeses, and cookies. We had a little refreshment while both Prince and his wife told us more stories about New Zealand.

After our refreshment, we went to the Auckland Museum. That was a fantastic place, with a huge Maori exhibit on the ground floor, Natural History on the second floor, and the War Memorial exhibits on the third floor.

Eventually, we returned to the hotel. I was too tired to go out anymore, so I had an appetizer and glass of wine in the hotel bar, then visited with some of the other tour members, and now it is almost time to go to dinner! My, how time flies when one is having fun.

Tomorrow we leave Auckland, and start our journey towards Rotorua. I wish I had more time to spend here in Auckland. However, the rest of this lovely country is waiting for me, so I must go.

I will try to write often. Until next blog post, I must say,

G’day. (I must find out how to say, until we meet again.)

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Auckland Gay Travel Resources

Politicians Join the Crowds at New Zealand’s Big Gay Out

Author: , February 10th, 2014

New Zealand - google maps

from Google Maps

They came by the thousands in body paint, drag costumes and even rainbow-coloured onesies to celebrate their sexuality at New Zealand’s largest gay pride event.

Being election year, politicians also flocked to yesterday’s Big Gay Out at Coyle Park, Pt Chevalier, with an estimated 15,000 others.

Prime Minister John Key arrived to a mixed reception, wearing a yellow polo shirt, with some voices shouting “we want Lorde, not you” as he made his way to the stage.

He was challenged to a game of beer pong, which he agreed to and had to down several cups in the process.

Authored By Lincoln Tan – See the Full Story at the New Zealand Herald

Click here for gay travel resources in Auckland, New Zealand.

Auckland Gay Pride to Start Later in 2014

Author: , November 6th, 2013

Auckland Gay PrideThe Auckland Pride Festival Trust is pleased to announce the official route and new start time for next year’s Auckland Pride Parade 2014. The Auckland Pride Parade 2014 will start at the later time of 7pm on Saturday 22 February. The Parade will begin at Western Park and will travel the length of Ponsonby Road to finish at Three Lamps.

The Auckland Pride Festival’s massive closing Party will commence immediately after the Parade at an iconic inner city venue. “We are really excited about the later start of next year’s Auckland Pride Parade,” says David Coltman, Auckland Pride Festival Trust co-chair.

“We listened to feedback from this year’s participants, feedback from the hugely supportive Ponsonby businesses along the Parade route – and with the support of Auckland City have been able to confirm a later start for the Auckland Pride Parade 2014. This means the Parade will flow into the closing Party to create an incredible night for all our community and our supporters to remember. It will be the big finish to a fantastic Auckland Pride Festival!”

See the Full Story at Scoop

Click here for gay travel resources in New Zealand.

Exploring Gay New Zealand

Author: , May 1st, 2013

New Zealand - google maps

from Google Maps

New Zealand just passed full marriage equality at a national level. Now Joseph Pedro checks out this very gay friendly South Pacific country. Passport Magazine reports:

I’m curving along a snake-like road through New Zealand. My arms are wrapped tightly around a Hells Angels-type biker who, over the course of one hour, I’ve learned to trust with my life. The vroom vroom vroom-ing of the motorcycle has now become a surprisingly soothing background noise to the endless beauty of Auckland’s west coast. The wind smacks my face so hard that my cheeks beam red through the helmet’s visor and they sting like I’ve been walking New York City blocks in a snowstorm.

Rain dribbles down from the mountain-edge that we’re accelerating up and the raindrops do-si-do off my field of vision. With each curvature of the road, Gaia’s topography here surprises. One view reveals a sweeping landscape with a tremendous sky that is still puffed with vibrant grays. In the foreground, a vast ocean dominates the vista, where jagged rocks appear as though they are fighting for air from the blue waters. It reminds me of the Maori creation story I heard at the Auckland Museum that describes this harmony: “Soon, and yet not soon, for the time was vast, the Sky and Earth began to yield.” And here, way down in the far-flung corner of the Southern Hemisphere sitting on the back of a Harley, I too begin to yield with a place that has forever changed me.

See the full story at the link above. I’ve always wanted to visit New Zealand, especially since the lord of the rings was filmed there. Now I have another reason to go!

Click here for gay travel resources in New Zealand.

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Great Ponsonby Arthotel, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand

Author: , April 4th, 2013

Great Ponsonby Arthotel - Auckland, North Island, New ZealandPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Greek Omlettes to Die for: Legendary breakfasts, vibrant colours and art throughout. Free, unlimited wifi in rooms, ipod docks. This is a place to have fun and was first gay friendly accommodation in Auckland. Ponsonby is a cosmopolitan area of bars, cafes, galleries. Walk to gay bars, sauna and harbour.

See the Great Ponsonby Arthotel Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Auckland, New Zealand