Originally I had planned for us to pick up our RV rental right after getting off the plane but I screwed up the booking and it couldn’t be picked up until the next morning.
TIP: remember to check the rental’s earliest and latest pickup and drop off times to coordinate it with your flight
But this mishap turned out for the better because after traveling for 30 hours the last thing we wanted to do was hop in a huge motorhome, drive on the other side of the road, steering from the other side of the car, and drive for 3 hours. I read this recommendation on other blogs and I’ll reinforce it:
TIP: DON’T get in the RV straight from the airport. REST. For your safety and the safety of others, spend at least one day to recuperate. REST!
LOCAL FLAVOR x 3
We dropped off our bags and walked to the nearby Pak n’ Save (one of New Zealand’s big supermarket chains) for groceries and supplies for the RV. This is one of my favorite things to do when I’m abroad – checking out the local produce, seeing what unique chip flavors they have, and just seeing what different products are available. The best chips I had in NZ was the balsamic vinaigrette and caramelized onion. So. Good.
Speaking of trying new foods, we went to McDonald’s to see what unique menu items they have. We tried the guacamole fries (disappointing), butter chicken pie (pretty good. Love savory pies), and lime shake (not bad).
Why not follow up food with more food? We dropped off our groceries and Uber’ed it to Szimpla Gastro Bar for dinner. There weren’t many dinner options in Mangere which led me to have low expectations for the restaurant. The food was good though! We had the garlic bread (meh), burger (yum), and thai beef salad (tasty!).
After all that food and all that traveling, we went home, enjoyed the sunset (cover photo), and passed out.
Pak ‘n Save – Mangere
Address: Corner of Bader Drive and Orly Avenue, Mangere, Auckland, 2022
GPS Coordinates: -36.967734, 174.797599
Contact: (09) 256 7530
Hours: 8am – 10pm, 7 days
Szimpla Gastro Bar
Address: 2 Leonard Isitt Drive, Auckland Airport (Under the Ibis budget Hotel)
GPS Coordinates: -36.998109, 174.788541
Hours: 10am-9pm 7 days a week. Drinks & snacks served until late.
Contact: (09) 215 1220