After a blissful 12 hours of sleep, we grabbed some breakfast at Arch Hill Espresso. I tried the traditional flat white (similar to a latte but made with microfoam and invented in New Zealand/Australia) and a white chocolate, raspberry muffin and Brian had a long black (espresso with hot water on the side) and an almond croissant.
After breakfast we headed to the Chuan Spa in the Langham Hotel. I thought it would be a nice way to unwind from traveling. We hand booked a couples’ Polynesian Spa Ritual which included a body scrub (surprised I had any skin left at the end), a tranquil bath, and an amazing massage. Prior to the treatment, you could use the snail shower (a snail shell-shaped shower with jets on all sides), steam room, sauna and the “ice treatment” (pictured above). For the ice treatment, you just rub the Sonic-style ice all over yourself before you get in the steam room or the sauna. Cold but invigorating!
After spending four hours at the spa, it was time to eat! Brian wanted to do a walking tour of the city that was in one of our guidebooks, and the walk started near the Alleluya Cafe. I had an amazing feta and pesto sandwich on toasted Italian bread and a carbonated lemonade.
We walked a ton and saw all kinds of things around the city from statues to parks to streets lined with shops. We walked down to the waterfront and encountered a couple of rugby stores. I reverted back to my college days and bought an All Blacks ball – so excited to get it home, pump it up and teach Brian how to pass it! The city is super hilly, so we got a good workout, which was also a nice way to start adjusting to vacation.
Our host, Mick, had tipped us off to the perfect place for dinner – Sake Bar 601. We ordered a ton of food, which was all amazing, but the sashimi was so good that Brian said it had restored his faith in sushi. I think my East Coast preferences for seafood are wearing off on that Midwestern boy. The prawn, avocado and mayo roll (picture didn’t turn out) was perfection. The most amazing part was the price, it was under $100NZ with a bottle of wine!

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