Page 15 of Ali Travel Blog Posts


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » East Coast » Opotiki December 3rd 2002

Stayed at Steve’s Beachhouse Backpackers. The Beachhouse Backpackers is about 2 miles out of the small town of Opotiki, Steve had in his time travelled the world from his home in Auckland, returned after 5 years and asked where the best climate in New Zealand could be found - the east cape. The weather for me was good, and I enjoyed a walk along the beach, a wander through the town and relaxed for the evening. The Budget Backpacker Hostels network or the BBH is a group of independent hostels that are rated and listed in a book. Holding a BBH card entitles the bearer to a guaranteed price, in my experience the hostels that are members of this group tend to be the smaller, friendlier hostels. I purchased a card and set about saving a ... read more
Opotiki Beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Coromandel Town December 2nd 2002

East of Auckland across the Hauraki Gulf extends the Coromandel Peninsula. Coromandel Town home to a few thousand lies in an area of really attractive countryside. I managed to get to Coromandel in my new car. I purchased a car in Auckland, $1400 NZ, 1987 Mitsubishi Lancer estate, I should be able to sleep in the back of the car, save money on hostels occasionally, sell the car on at the end of the trip. I get to go exactly where I want to, when I want to, and New Zealand is really nice to drive in, the roads are mostly empty. So I drove to Coromandel, 3hrs from Auckland, enjoyed the freedom. Stopped in Thames, found a really nice hostel in Coromandel, Lion’s Den Hostel, run by Lynda. Lynda is really nice and gave me ... read more
The Firebreather
Lovely Landscape
Kauri Trees

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Northland » Paihia November 29th 2002

A four hour bus ride north from Auckland and the Bay of Islands, described some where as the "jewel of Northland". I felt that after almost 5 days working in Auckland - from the Net Central Internet Cafe - that I deserved a break. Paihai is a small town with a population of 7200. It caters really well for backpackers, on just one small road over 2000 backpacker beds are available. The beach is just out front of the town and the just across the bay is the pretty town of Russell. I stayed in a small and friendly backpackers (hostels are called backpackers in NZ) called Pipi Patch Lodge, really nice place. The rooms of the Pipi Patch are clean, hold 8 backpackers and have comfy beds. Though on the downside the BBQ at $10 ... read more
Island
Waterfalls Near Paihia

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Northland » Cape Reinga November 28th 2002

The most northly and western point of New Zealand is not Cape Reinga. We realised this after reading the full description in the Lonely Planet. However it is the most northerly accessible point of the North Island. Cape Reinga is the point where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet, with swell 10m high at certain times. At the tip of the Cape is a Light House, and the freshest air I have breathed for a long time. It takes about 3hrs to drive from Paihai to Cape Reinga, if the trip was solely for the light house and the cape it would be a little excessive. Fortunately on the end of Ninety Mile Beach are some magnificant sand dunes. Walked through the dunes feeling like an extra from Star Wars. Wondering if Cape Reinga ... read more
Lighthouse on Cape Reinga
Sand Dunes
Sand Dunes Again

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland November 18th 2002

I arrived in Auckland. I might have well arrived home, in the airport even before the baggage claim a lovely lady behind a stand offers you a free cup of tea or coffee. First thing in the morning after a long nights flight this is just what is needed. So I wandered through immigration and baggage reclaim sloshing my near scolding tea across my hands, baggage and pristine clean floor. I caught a bus down town to the Auckland Central Backpackers. Met a couple from Cardiff/Isle of Wight as I got off the bus they were on their way to the ACB as well. The ACB is the largest and most commercial hostel I have ever seen, over 600 beds, a huge Internet cafe and a kitchen that is a strange cross between a busy restaurant ... read more
Auckland at Night
Yacht
Glass Floor in Sky Tower

Oceania » Fiji » Viti Levu » Coral Coast November 16th 2002

Vanja, Claire and I went to find some sunshine. The leaflet for Robinson Crusoe Island looked pretty good so I phoned. To get out to Robinson Crusoe Island, or Likura Island as its really called, we had to catch a bus to a police station in the middle of no where. The middle of no where was between Suva and Nadi, on the coral coast. Called Vatu Dradra (pronounced Vatu drandra), or translated, "red stone". Waiting for the bus a truck stopped and the driver said he would take us there for $4 Fiji each, a little less than the bus and a lot quicker. So we took the ride, chatted with the driver, lives in Suva in his sister's house and drives from one side of the island to the other most days. True to ... read more
Fire Dancing
Claire, Vanya, Ali
Husking a Coconut

Oceania » Fiji » Viti Levu » Suva November 10th 2002

The Raintree Lodge is located just outside Suva, up in the hills, amongst the trees. It rained. Not unexpected, the rainforest is famous for this kind of thing. Just next to the hostel is the Colo-i-Suva forest, complete with mysterious waterfalls and pools. The hostel was really quiet, only 6 other backpackers were staying in the hostel. Two of the guys I got on with - Rusty and Jake - were typical loud and friendly Americans, typical expcept for one thing - they were really into rugby. When I questioned them about their lack of loyalty to American Football they said - "We used to play football when we were younger but then we found out there was a much better game". Their tour of New Zealand and Fiji had seen them play rugby in two ... read more
The Swing From Above
Wet Rocks
Rainforest

Oceania » Fiji » Viti Levu » Coral Coast November 3rd 2002

I've always wanted to go to Fiji. Just the name summons up images of pristine white sandy beaches, cocconut palm trees and lazy days just swinging in a hammock. My first recollection of hearing about Fiji was in the British Sci-Fi Comedy "Red Dwarf" - Dave Lister was saving to go to Fiji, whilst working a dead end job on an interstellar mining ship. The theme tune of the program incorporates all sorts of references to the Fiji trips... lyrics here: It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere I'm all alone, more or less Let me fly, far away from here Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun... I want to lie shipwrecked and comatose Drinking fresh mango juice Goldfish shoals, nibbling at my toes Fun, fun, fun, in the sun, sun, sun... Fun, ... read more
Pineapple Plants
Ali n Dave n Waterfall
Bright Navy Blue Starfish

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu October 31st 2002

I write about Wai’ki’ki over a week after I left. Had such a cool time in Hawaii that I didn’t write. Then I got to Fiji, no electricity on the islands I was staying on. So from memory this is what I did. Day 2 Wai’ki’ki. Split the cost of car hire with Neil and Dean, a Londoner and Edinburghonian who I met at the Hawaiian Hostel. Travelled around the whole of the island, drove again for the first time in ages. Every few miles there would be a sign that said, “scenic view parking”, we’d pull in and ou and ah at the scenic view. Saw the famous north shore, huge waves. Ate more junk food for lunch. Went to an all you can eat buffet with Neil and Dean, Scotty and Cinthy (Australian couple), ... read more
Scenic View Hawaii
Angel Cathy
Hamuna Bay

North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu October 27th 2002

I arrived in Honolulu airport with very little knowledge of Hawaii save Magnum PI in the 80's and I used to work for a company that choose an Hawaiian name for itself - Kokua Communications - the word Kokua in Hawiian means Help (more or less). The company went bust after about 18 months, after a long and drawn out funding process that from one day to the next changed from "We're funded" to "We're doomed". So long dot com. Arriving in Honolulu on Wai'ki'ki beach I instantly realised that this is a big tourism centre. I have never seen so many Japanese people congregated in one place before, and I lived in London. I'll one-day go to Japan so I expect that to change, but for now Honolulu holds the record. 90% of the rest ... read more
Wai'Ki'Ki Beach
Downtown Honolulu




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