CACs World Adventures

Claire and Colin

CACs World Adventures

We thought this would be a good way for everyone who wants to keep up with our journey as we work and travel abroad.

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » River Valley December 19th 2010

River Valley was an experience we hadn't had yet. Firstly everyone had to get off the bus a mile from our accommodation as the bus couldn't fit down the steep hill or turn around at the bottom. Then we realized we actually were in the absolute middle of nowhere and our driver wasn't exaggerating. There were only two rooms in this log cabin style place, both of which consisted of one long bunk bed which was meant to fit ten people on the top and ten on the bottom all squashed together on one big bed. Thankfully there was a bar. Although definitely not much else. At first I was glad we were only staying one night but then everyone got into the spirit of things. The owners of the cabin cooked our whole bus a ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Taupo December 18th 2010

This wasn't a particularly highly anticipated part of our trip but it was a welcomed stop when we got here. There was loads to do in Taupo, apparently the adventure capital of the north island, who knew!? Lake Taupo itself is huge and pretty mesmerizing to look at (although I was so busy looking I seemed to have neglected to take any pictures of it!). Think Loch Ness then times it by 10. The near by Huka Falls were magnificent, a narrowing of the river from 100 to 15 metres causes a huge volume of water to collide and cascade into this powerful display of waterfalls and rapids. If you can go on the Huka Jet which gets up close to the falls then do it but move fast as it was sold out the day ... read more
Huka Falls with Gill
Huka Falls
Gill comes to visit!

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua December 17th 2010

Rotorua is the capital of all things cultural in NZ and the centre of information for anything Maori. When entering the town you immediately become aware of the stench of rotten eggs and after looking around everyone on the bus in suspicion we were informed that it was the smell of sulfur from the geothermal activity in this area that has made it a popular tourist destination. The huge dormant volcano towering over Rotorua has made the many bubbling mud pools and geysers available in this area. If you visit here you cant leave without attending a traditional Maori Hangi or feast. We toured round a local village, learned about the history to present day Maori traditions and we entertained by the singing, dancing and storytelling. The Hangi meal including chicken, meat, potatoes etc is buried ... read more
Maori Village Welcome Dance
Maori man
One for the grandkids

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo Caves December 16th 2010

A short detour from the beaten track led us to Waitomo which you cant say has a lot to do. However it is home to the Waitomo limestone water caves which must be there number one (and only) attraction. These caves are home to the glow worms which is apparently unique to NZ. A walk through these caves was magnificent viewing the glow worms in their natural state, and we took a boat ride and viewed them hanging from the roof of the cave lighting up the way for us. If you are feeling a little more adventurous the black water rafting comes highly recommended where you can glide through the narrow passes of the caves on a black tube and abseil down the waterfalls inside the caves. Definitely should be avoided if you are even ... read more
Colin gets comfortable in the cave
Hobbiton, formally Mata Mata, Home of lord of the rings
Mt Doom from LOTR

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Whitianga December 15th 2010

After another quick stop over in Auckland we headed south to Whitianga (pronounced Fitianga, Wh is pronounced as a F in Maori, there is a place named Whakapapa but we'll get to that later). Here we headed to the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula to visit Catherdral Cove Marine Reserve which can only be accessed by foot or by kayak which explains why the scenery was so incredible. We spend the entire day completing the trail walks along the white sandy beaches, coastal walkways and rugged cliffs. The next morning we visited the beach at Mercury Bay where you can dig your own hot pools and we did just that. The reservoir of water stems from heated water underground from a nearby volcano, when the tide is low you can rent a spade and start digging then take ... read more
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula
Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula
Make your own Hot Pools at Mercury Bay

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia December 11th 2010

From Auckland we jumped aboard the giant green Kiwi Experience bus which we had booked in advance for much of our traveling around NZ. Our first destination was 3 hours north bound into the Bay of Islands where the first European settlers arrived into the country. With around 144 islands there was plenty to see and the weather was amazing for our entire stay. We initially stayed in Paihia for three nights which was a lovely seaside town. We went out on a cruise for the afternoon around many of the islands including the famous 'hole in the rock' which is a huge rock in the middle of the ocean with (surprise, surprise) a hole in the middle big enough for boats to pass through. We also planned to go swimming with the dolphins. However, when ... read more
Colin chillaxing on the boat

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland » Central December 7th 2010

First off I have to give credit to Thai Airways who flew us thus far. The service was excellent, as was the food and entertainment and it was without a doubt the best airline and flight we have flown. This made our transition into New Zealand all that easier after a refreshing and relaxing flight. We touched down in Auckland with high hopes and lots of enthusiasm for what lay ahead. After a good first night sleep we were up and out to explore central Auckland. We were keen to get the boring stuff out of the way so after a morning of buying sim cards, opening bank accounts and applying for tax codes we went in search of some lunch. It was quite an odd feeling wandering around here as doesn't look all that different ... read more
Getting ready to climb the Auckland Harbour Bridge
Auckland waterfront from the bridge view
 View of an Auckland beach

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Pai December 1st 2010

762 curves in the road to Pai from Chiang Mai. Or so they say the three hour journey north felt like 3,762 curves and even the best travellers would be feeling worse for wear. We certainly were after spending the previous evening sampling the nightlife of Chiang Mai. After we dragged ourselves from bed we ran to the bus station to meet Jo and Nicole and grab a rather early Pad Thai for breakfast. We arrived in Pai for lunchtime and set out on an adventure to find accommodation. It was suprisingly difficult to find somewhere that would fit all of us in one room but we suceeded in the end, dumped our stuff and headed out to explore. Pai is a quaint little town with a boho chilled out vibe. We were treated to a ... read more
Dead frogs at the market
Man skinning a fish alive

Asia » Thailand » North-West Thailand » Chiang Mai November 29th 2010

We got a flight from Phuket up to Chiang Mai and from the minute we got off the plane it felt like a different type of Thailand. Much more chilled out and perhaps even more organised in regards to transport from the airport. Walking around Chiang Mai felt much safer than in Bangkok or even Phuket and the people there were some of the friendliest we had met in Thailand. We stayed at the New Mitrapap hotel which was very cheap for the clean and comfortable room we received. We became very fond of the Riverside Restaurant which we visited THREE times in our time here. But excelled our expectations everytime. It was a cosy restaurant and pub right on the riverside complete with lanterns and live music every night, it was clearly loved by locals ... read more
Colin getting familiar with traditional tribal wear
Meeting people from the Karen Longneck Hilltribe
Woman from the Long Ears Hilltribe

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand November 28th 2010

We visited this quaint little island in the between Phuket and Koh Phi Phi on a day trip and it definately a recommendation for something different. Although we suspect there must be several similar islands around the area which are very similar. You can pay a small price for a speed boat to take you there. It had only one bar on it so drinks and snacks were expensive but nothing to complain about for a day trip. Beautiful place for snorkelling, clear water, white sands and you can walk round this island in 10 mins. Perfect way to spend a chilled out day away from the craziness of the nearbymain islands. ... read more
Khai Island
Khai Island
Khai Island

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