Published: December 23rd 2008December 24th 2008
Merry Christmas one and all,
Today is Christmas Eve and I'm feeling a bit Christmassy with all the songs on the radio etc but its not quite the same if your not wrapped up in a winter scarf and jacket!
Since the last entry I've taken the coach up to the most northerly point of New Zealand called Cape Regina, which was a fantastic experience with awesome views. The tour guide was telling us stories about how special the area is to the Maori and when we got there is was very misty with cloud rolling in off the cliffs, it was a very aerie feeling. From the cape we then went to a beach for lunch and a swim before hitting the biggest sand dunes I’ve ever seen. The bus driver showed us how it was done and reckons you can get up to 80km/h out of just going down the dune on a body board, anyway I thought why not that sounds pretty good took a run and a jump but don't think I got to 80km/h however did get halfway across the stream at the bottom. From here it was then a drive south along 90mile
beach and back to Pahia. The next day was supposed to be spent diving the Rainbow Warrior (a green peace ship that was protesting against French nuclear testing which the French then decided they would sink! FRENCH!) Anyway I didn't get to dive it as the sea was too rough (gutted) but instead went to Russell the first colonised place in NZ (where modern NZ began!) and then took the 4 hour around hike to Haruru Falls, we were all shattered by the end of the day!
On my last day at the Bay of Islands I had a few hours to kill so thought why not do a sky dive?? I got up very early met up with some mates and off we went. There was not a cloud in the sky or a breath of wind, it was the absolute perfect day and the Islands looked amazing. After having a quick briefing and believe me it was quick (I've spent more time showing someone how to use a lawnmower!) we then jumped into the smallest plane I have ever seen and up we went to 12,000ft, the door opened, i'm the 2nd to jump and just see the
1st person disappear. A few swear words entered my head and then it was me perched on the edge and then the guy I was strapped to just went and from then on it is hard to describe the feelings but if you've done it you know what I mean and if you haven't then you really should! (A part from you Nan, Nan and Gramps). Obviously we were all pretty excited once doing it but had to jump on the bus to come back to Auckland before moving onto the Coromandel Peninsula in the morning.
So another early start in order to get the coach to the Coromandel and Cathedral Cove but it was worth it, it is very beautiful, and a great way to get to Cathedral Cove is by Kayak from Hahei beach, so a few of us did that and went into some caves etc and it was really nice. Upon landing the kayak guys took the orders for hot drinks then proceeded to get out a stove and ingredients and made awesome mocha's and hot chocolates there on the beach. After having a wonder and chilling enjoying the beach it was time to head
back to Hahei and get a ferry back to the hostel. I decided to stay another day and cycle to Hot water beach with a bike I hired unfortunately its only worth going to at low tide when the water is boiling up through the sand so guess what another early morning as low tide was 7.30am! But it was a beautiful morning so I didn't mind the hour each way cycle.
That evening met up with my skydiving mates again and we all headed off to Rotorua in the morning via Matamata or Hobbiton for all you Lord of the Rings geeks (Alec!). Once in Rotorua it was some cultural stuff such as visiting the geothermal pools (only one of 3 places in the world you can see this). The water comes out at 98 degree's and the mud is 96 degree's (you didn't know that!). The evening we then went to a cultural show which was pretty cool learning Maori and their history.
I then finally got a coach back to Auckland in the morning to spend Christmas with Alex Woody and Issy, we managed to squeeze in a meal on mum and dad's credit card
so thank you very much guys it was lovely. I tried to get in the sky tower but it was fully booked, Woody then picked the next expensive he could think of!!! :-)
Whilst Woody work Alex and Issy took me to Piha beach on the west coast of Auckland just to chill as today we head to Hamilton for Christmas Wood style!
I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year and remember DRINK Responsibly!!
Lots of love Tom xx
There are more photos below