Blogs from North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 16

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hawkes Bay » Hastings December 26th 2013

I spent 10 days in New Zealand just coming up to Summer Solstice, December 2013; I was surprised how complex it was to leave Melbourne: after passing through security there was an enormous queue to get through Borders Patrol, with a form to complete, and an officer to check me out; I'd have thought they would be glad to see you out, but it seems the obsessive checks continue. (Upon arrival, one must also complete a form stating what if anything one is bringing in, no foodstuffs are allowed, or indeed any animal products, leather, seeds.) I didn't take my drum over, in case they took it from me. And having admitted to living on a farm, they check one's boots, take them off to wash them if any traces remain on the soles. They are ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Pukekohe December 26th 2013

After a food and drink fuelled Christmas Day arrived the Rugby match to burn off all the recent good living. Forget six nations, forget World Cup yes today was the all important Northern hemisphere V Southern Hemisphere New Zealand v Wales Rugby game of the year! Such was the importance of the day, Den and Daryl came out of retirement for the occasion, and Cath made her debut for Team Jones. There had been some strong discussion about who should captain the team, some cast doubt on the capability of Carey Jones, suggesting his strategies may not work, but those with faith invested it accordingly, and Carey stepped up to skipper the side full of injury. What would go first? Gareth's foot? Daryls shoulder? Rhydians shoulder? Rhys quiff? Daryls other shoulder? Daryls hip? Daryls Knee? Dens ... read more
Land of our Fathers
Not quite the All Blacks!
Team S-J

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland December 26th 2013

Here I am, in New Zealand. I wasn't really excited beforehand, I never am when I travel. It doesn't really matter, till I'm there you know? But now I'm here,and I am very very excited. This country is amazingly beautiful, and I've only seen a small portion of it. I left Durham on Christmas Eve at 7am, though my shuttle picked me up at 5am. The shuttle was surprisingly crowded, as was the airport. Guess I wasn't the only one beguiled by low Christmas ticket prices! The first flight to LAX was 5 hours in length, though I think I slept for the first three. My neck hurt, though. They don't provide pillows on inland flights. :( Regardless of my sore neck, my 13-hour layover in Los Angeles was amazing because I got to hang out ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland December 26th 2013

My plane got in around 1pm, and it was extremely nice to get out of that flying metal tube and stretch my legs. My first stop: the water fountain to refill my water bottle and begin the reconstitution process that must come after long international flights. I was happy to see a special spout for water bottles on the water fountain - so nice! Second stop: the currency exchange to get some New Zealand moolah. Traveling protip: using google to translate currency will lead you down a sad path when you exchange your money for real. When I looked at the exchange rate online, a New Zealand dollar was worth about 0.80 US dollars. But my 200 American dollars only got me 217 NZD from the exchangers. Ouch. Looks like peanut butter and saltines is on ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Whangarei December 25th 2013

On christmas morning, we opened our secret santa gifts - THANK YOU!... read more
yummy eats
Ash loved her hammock
Robyn knew someone

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Hamilton December 25th 2013

Christmas Day Secret Santa was also taking place in Hamilton for Joseph, Stacey, Ben, Claire and baby Thomas........ read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » New Plymouth December 25th 2013

Vrijdag 20 december 2013: Ik ben te vroeg wakker en tegen dat ik terug indompel brandt de zon op de tent. Opstaan dan maar en me klaarmaken voor de grotdag. Als het shuttlebusje er om 9u55 nog niet is, maak ik me zorgen maar iets later is het daar. We zijn met 2 en rijden naar het bureau van Spell Bound, de organisatie die de excursie verzorgt. Daar laden we nog wat mensen op en zo rijden we met 12 weg. We zijn een dikke 20 minuten aan het rijden en op het einde over gravel en echte kronkelpadjes. Het laatste stuk staat zelfs niet meer op de gps. Op een grasveldje mogen we uitstappen en het laatste stuk naar de eerste grot stappen. Daar krijgen we een helm met hoofdlamp en zo treden we binnen. ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Whangarei December 24th 2013

Another Christmas and a break from tradition. Usually we go to Mum and Dads for Christmas Eve carol singing but this year we hosted the event as we have a great home for entertaining!! We had such a good laugh! check out the photos and thanks for all the goodies....left overs will be eaten over the next few days!!... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua December 23rd 2013

We definitely picked the good days for the beach as when we woke up this morning it was dull and rainy. We left to drive to Rotorua, and could tell when we were near due to the smell. Reuben wasn't impressed and wound the window down to get rid of the smell-unbeknowing that is where it was coming from, so resorted to sticking his fingers up his nose after that! Rotorua has the nickname 'Sulphur City' due to the hydrogen sulphide emissions which give it a smell of rotten eggs-nice! It was one of those days where the was plenty to do but everyone couldn't seem to decide on what exactly. We found somewhere to park and had a 30 minute discussion about it, then Daryl suggested a cafe where we had food and spent a ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Mangonui December 22nd 2013

Well I did manage to make it up the Mount this morning, we met Laura and Rhyd at the bottom, the boys ran up, the girls walked to the top. the views were great up there and it was another nice sunny day. we could see clearly over to the port of Teuranga where two huge cruise ships were docked. we ran back down and bumped into Gareth and Shell who were in the midst of a monster 10 miler then back for a quick shower and change ready to meet everyone for breakfast. We went back to the slow fish, and had another great breakfast, I was surprised we'd all managed to get a seat in there-we must have taken up most of the outside seating area! Now when you ask Reuben what he's done ... read more




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