We stayed in a wonderful old hotel in Auckland attached to a tavern. The unfortunate part was the 60 stairs you had to climb to the room. The hotel staff was very gracious and took our big luggage for us.
Our first day in Auckland was amazing. We had booked a tour and were picked up at our hotel. I had a little tumble tripping over an area which was dug out and covered with gravel. No worries! We headed north outside the city. First stop was a wonderful craft market, where every thing was locally made, not made in China. I am a sucker for this kind of shop, since I am a crafter myself. Next we headed into the wine region of the north island.
Our next stop was along the western shoreline of New Zealand. The sand is black because of the volcanoes. Beyond beautiful.