Published: February 13th 2008February 11th 2008
It's been an emotional couple of days as we've realised that our time in New Zealand has, at last, come to an end. We've been in New Zealand for just over three months and throughly enjoyed every single minute. When I last left off we had just been skydiving in the awesome Lake Taupo.
We caught the bus up to Rotorua, aka Roto-vegas for its abundance of casinos and slot machines. However we weren't there to gamble. Rotorua is one of the most active Geothermal areas in New Zealand. It is home to some of the best examples of natural hot springs, mud pools, sulphur lakes and geysers in the world. However as a down side to all the natural wonders Rotorua is plagued by what can only be described as an 'Evil Eggy Smell'. The smell lingers at every corner and at times can be almost unbearable!!
We spent a day at Rotorua's Thermal wonderland, the area is a collection of all the geo-thermal activities and boasted lakes of bright yellow sulphur, boiling mud pools, and Lady Know Geyser. At 10am each day the geyser errupts when a ranger drops a huge lump of soap
into the geyser causing the hot and cold waters to mix and the added soap-iness causes a geyser about 20ft tall, quite impressive even if it was cheating!
On friday afternoon I left Anne and Joe behind to visit family in the coastal town of Tauranga in the bay of plenty. Returning late saturday we caught the long distance bus up to Auckland. The city of Auckland is nothing like the rest of NZ. Whereas the rest of NZ is quite rural, Auckland is a massive metropolis extending furthur than the eye can see. Did you know more people live in Auckland and it's suburbs than in the entire south island of NZ? FACT!
Once again we met up with Sam and Chloe as we had tickets to watch the New Zealand Blackcaps play England at Twenty20 cricket. The game was fantastic and the atmosphere was electric. England easily sent the locals packing which made up for our disapointing game of Rugby against Wakes which we stayed up untill 4am in order to watch. The evening was slightly spoilt when Sam was kicked out of the ground for smuggling vodka into the game and as they had an
early flight to Sydney the next day we didnt get a chance to say goodbye.
The next day we hired a car and drove up to the bay of islands and Cape Reinga. The drive took three days and was much further than any of us had imagined but we pootled along in our little toyota. In order to start saving a bit of money we thought it would be a great idea to sleep in the hire car. However anyone who has ever tried sleeping in a car will tell you that it is not as comfortable as it looks. Parked up in the absolute middle of nowhere, joe was convinced we would be murdered by some mad farmer. By 6:30am the next morning after several hours of fitfull sleep we were ready to get on the road again.
Cape Reinga is NZ's most northern point. At the furthest point stands the lighthouse and signpost which are world reknown. In the matter of weeks we had travelled the length and breadth of NZ and our time in this fantastic country was coming to an end.
On sunday night we boarded our 'short' flight to Australia. After
being seated for 1/2 hour the air hostess made and announcement that we were still waiting for our pilot who had not yet turned up, not the best of starts. Also the weather in Cairns was verging on a tropical hurricane and because of the strong headwinds we needed to refuel in Bribane, just in case the pilot had to abort our landing into Cairns. This wasnt the kind of news i wanted to hear as im not a good flyer at the best of times. Sure enough after taking off from Brisbane we hit some of the most turbulent weather as our plane dipped and bounced around. Big respect to our pilot who somehow managed to land our flight in the middle of a tropical hurricane even if the runway was under 2ft of water with thunder and lightening. Our 'short' 5 1/2 hour flight had suddenly turned into a 9 hour epic!
Still now we're in OZ, and its still raining! We have a cruise booked to the great barrier reef tomorrow so im sure the weather will improve for that!
There are more photos below