Blogs from North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 15


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Turangi December 31st 2013

On the bus to Wellington. Once again, another first: this was my first time using the couchsurfing website as a surfer, not a host, and it has been AMAZING. I stayed with Kicki and Mike in Motuoapa (moe-too-oh-AH-pa), which is a small collection of houses outside Turangi (TOOR-ang-ee) on Lake Taupo? Their house is in a really nice neighborhood up on a hill, with a view of lake Taupo, and the neighborhood is full of kids and parks and open space. The houses are all different styles because the parcels of land were bought up by Aussies who use the place as a vacation spot. In fact, a lot of the houses are all for sale because the place didn't take off like they expected, so now they need to sell it. I was dropped off ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier December 30th 2013

Monday December 30th, 2013. Napier, Art Deco City, North Island, NZ After breakfast we left Wellington for the drive to Napier. On the way out of the city we filled up with juice. We couldn't believe how quiet it was. A Monday morning in rush hour and there was no traffic to speak of. Fantiastic - wish it was like that in Bristol! We started on our journey and about half an hour out of the city on SH2 we pulled in to Kaitoke Regional Park which was signposted from the highway. We walked to the lookout and below us two huge reservoirs. These supply fresh water to Wellington and other cities in the region. Water supply from Kaitoke started in 1954 to cater for the new housing developments that were planned for the western side ... read more
2. Kaitoke Regional Park Second Reservoir
3. Kaitoke Regional Park
4. Stokes Memorial at Muldoon's Corner

Today I faced the mighty Tongariro Alpine Crossing! It's a day hike, about 20 km (13 miles) long, traveling up to the base of some active volcanoes and then over and down. It's ranked as one of the most picturesque day hikes in the world, and, importantly, mount Tongariro is what they used for Mount Doom in the Lord of the Rings. The crossing does not begin or end in the same place, you hike from one carpark (parking lot) to another, so you have to arrange some sort of transportation to drop you off and pick you up. I'd arranged transport with the Alpine Hot Bus via email before leaving the states, and it was due to pick me up from Mike and Kicki's (see the next entry for all about Kicki and Mike!) at ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington December 29th 2013

Sunday December 29th, 2013. City of Wellington, North Island, New Zealand We woke up and the weather in Wellington was still rubbish. We had breakfast and went out to move the car from its spot to a 12 hour spot a bit further out. Then, as it was raining again, we decided to visit the Te Papa Museum. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is the national museum and art gallery of New Zealand. It is branded and commonly known as Te Papa and Our Place; "Te Papa Tongarewa" is broadly translatable as "the place of treasures of this land". Te Papa was established in 1992, by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Act 1992. The official opening took place on 14 February 1998. The museum had one million visitors in the ... read more
7. M with the Pigmy Blue Whale Skeleton at Te Papa
12.Top of the Void at Te Papa Museum
9a M with Corned Beef Cow

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua December 29th 2013

After a quick 3 hour flight across the water I was in Auckland facing the ridiculous queues to get through customs. 1hour and a sniffer dog later I was through and expecting a fair wait for Lynsey but fortunately China Air put their foot down and she was only an hour behind me. I needed to make her feel welcome into the country so with the help of McDonald's napkins and a marker pen a beautiful banner was created! We grabbed a bus to the city and caught up on life on route to our hostel. The hostel didn't have a record of our booking which was all we needed, but ended up working out for us in the end as we were given the 'honeymoon suite' of another hostel the lady owned. I have to ... read more
Merging sea
Lynsey and I


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wanganui » Wanganui December 29th 2013

Donderdag 26 December 2013: Ik verslaap me en tegen dat ik de was en dergelijke heb binnen gehaald is het 10u30 eer ik aan het trappen ben. Ik verlaat New Plymouth via de achterwijken en deze gaan op en neer. Als de roetsjbaan ten einde is kom ik op de grote baan. Ik voel me eigenlijk niet lekker. In Inglewood bezoek ik de openbare toiletten, wat een uitvinding. Een man spreekt me nog aan en waarschuwt me dat er stevige regen aankomt. In etappes stijgt de weg. Ik moet nog regelmatig eens stoppen en langs de kant van de weg zitten puffen. Iets onder de 400m eindig ik in Stratford. Ik ga naar de hostel waar men broek zou geleverd worden en jawel ze is er, yoehoe. Ik besluit om mezelf op een kerstcadeautje te trakteren ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Wellington December 28th 2013

Saturday December 28th, 2013. Crossing the Cook Strait to Wellington, North Island, New Zealand Woke up this morning and it was chucking it down. We checked out of the YH and then went into town for breakfast in one of the cafes. A couple of cheese and bacon toasties - lovely. Our ferry was at 1.10 but we had to check in at the latest at 12 noon. We had a few hours to kill so we went for a drive down the main highway 1 in the other direction to see some new stuff. Then we turned up at the ferry terminal only to be told that the boat was late and that we needed to come back at 1.45. It was still raining so we decided to go to Picton Aquarium (as it was ... read more
6. Tuatara, Picton Aquarium
7. Tuatara, Picton Aquarium
8. D on the Ferry

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 28th 2013

Another busy day here in New Zealand, full of awesome bushwalks and glowworms! Jackie, Julia, and I left the backpackers around 8:40am for our bushwalk. The bartender that I bought my beer from last night said it would take about 2.5 hours to do the bushwalk, and we first stopped by the i-SITE so Jackie and Julia could buy a glowworm cave expedition. Thus I was a little short on time, since I needed to be back around 11:40am to get to my tour on time. But I figured I would do what I could and see what I could. Let me tell you this: the Ruakuri bushwalk is wonderful! For a lot of it you are actually walking through rolling farmland that is punctuated by these limestone rock pieces with cool layering in them. At ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central December 27th 2013

Today we picked up another hire car and all of us made our way into Auckland for the day. Our first stop was Mount Eden where we had a great view of the Auckland Skyline. We made our way into the city and went to the Waterfront for Lunch where we met up with Fern again before going our separate ways. Rhys had booked to do the Auckland Bridge Bungee, but as you had to pay $20 each to spectate, only Jan and Den went along which was a shame as it would have been good to watch. I did think about doing the bridge walk, but wasn't too sure, I wanted to go up the Sky Tower as I'd toyed with the idea of doing the 360 walk (I don't know why as I hate ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 27th 2013

Good moooooooooooooooooorning New Zealand! After a quick shower and breakfast breakfast, it was time to begin my one-woman New Zealand adventure! Ben and Michelle dropped me off at the Auckland buss top, where I quckly found my bus. The buses here are AWESOME, they have flexible passes you can buy that just deduct time from the hours you buy, and once you make a booking thed rivers expect you and you just need to tell them your name. It's a great way to get around the country. My destination today was Otorohanga (oh-tro-HAN-ga, either hard or soft "r"), a small town south of Auckland. Once there I was due to see the Kiwi House and then make my way to a hostel in Waitomo (why-TOE-mo), a small village nearby that was the tourist hub for glowworms. ... read more

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