Published: March 25th 2008March 14th 2008
After Paihia we travelled to Auckland again where we stopped over for another quick night. At our last hostel we'd met three lovely English girls from the Wirrel who are travelling together: Rachel, Meike and Alex. We decided to all get in a dorm room together (and have done so ever since as we are all doing the same route). We are all getting on really well together and it's great travelling around as a group. Another bonus is that they have hair straighteners and a hair dryer with them. My afro is tame for the moment!
That night we just had a quiet one with pizza and lots of chatting. The problem with trying to do the Kiwi Experience in such a short amount of time means that you often stay in one hostel/place for just one night, arriving in the afternoon and leaving between 7.30-9.30 every morning. This is quite knackering so we were grateful to the early night. Since then Laura and I have actually changed our flight to Melbourne for a week later so that we can spend a full month here, stay with the friends we've made and actually take the time to explore the places
we stop in.
Anyway, because we still thought we were running a tight schedule at this point, we didn't manage to see much of Auckland before jumping on the bus at an ungodly hour the next day. The first photographs you can see are of the first bus stop we made that day. We headed to the top of Mt Eden or Mauri named Maungawhau which is one of 70 dormant volcanoes in the region. it is the best stop in Auckland to get a 360 degree view of the city, the Waitemata Harbour and beyond. The most amazing thing about Auckland is it's size. It is one of the largest cities in the world as Kiwis continue to build outwards rather than upwards and so it is ever-growing.
After this we headed along the Coromandel Peninsula which is renowned for its stunning secluded beaches and an abundance of untouched native New Zealand forest.
In Whitianga we went to the stunning Mercury Bay which as you can see from the pictures is the most beautiful cove imaginable. It is only reachable by a very steep hour-long walkway which is not only well worth it but also all the better for
it. It is in no way commercialised and there is nothing to ruin or take away from its natural allure.
As you can see, us girls took a fair few pictures. One thng about being in New Zealand is that it makes you completely trigger happy (those who have Facebook might had noticed from the thousands upon thousands of photos we have both uploaded). You just can't help yourself. These are the sort of views that you would never want to forget.
That night we stayed in a lovely little ranch-style hostel where we had homemade spaghetti bolognese and made yet more new friends. Most notable were; Claire, from Watford, who helped us make a six in our room arrangements and travelled around with us until Wellington when we sadly had to say goodbye; and Tom and Marcus who are Beavis and Butthead in human form. They actually have the laugh. ("Boobs... heheheh") I guess because Laura and I are a bit of a double act we seem to attract them (remember Jay and Silent Foot?) so we have become really good friends with the two of them. We do constantly feel a need to mother them. The phrases: "Don't
do that", "Don't touch her boobs", "Sit down", "Be quiet", "Behave yourselves" are frequently being used.
There are more photos below