The end of NZ but bit more of Auckland first


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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Auckland
June 28th 2009
Published: June 28th 2009
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Overlooking the pancake rocksOverlooking the pancake rocksOverlooking the pancake rocks

Where's the pot of gold? That's what I want to know
Well after we left Glacier country, we went up as far as Greymouth and stayed there a couple of nights as we had to get some work done on the van. Grey is certainly the operative word - we arrived on a cold, drizzly, overcast day and being frank, the place is a dump. There is nothing to see or do there - we felt sorry for the tourists coming off the Tranzalpine train journey for reaching such a nondescript, bleak, dingy end of route! The place has an air of ageing industrialism and being in a real back water - it wouldn’t surprise me if almost every inhabitant had depression from living there! Anyway, you get the idea… We did escape for a while and drove half an hour up the road to see the pancake rocks but as this only took 20 minutes to have a look round, we were soon back in Greymouth.

So after leaving Greymouth, we cut across country back over toward Christchurch. By this point, we had actually sold the van to a guy who lived near Queenstown but he’d let us keep it on for 2 weeks to drive up the west coast (very kind of him, I thought!). So the next part of the journey was us driving back down and completing the deal. We then drove back to Christchurch (in a hire car) and picked up a rental van which needed relocating to Auckland (hence low fees for a weeks hire). Although modern and having a TV, it was very different to our old van and didn’t have as much room. We were living out of our packed bags and the novelty of living and travelling in the van was wearing thin. When we reached our destination, I breathed a sigh of relief as driving long distances every day is pretty tiring and sometimes you just yearn for a nice roomy bed!

Once we delivered the van to the depot in Auckland, we got a free transfer to our home for the last week of our stay in New Zealand. We’d booked an apartment right in the heart of the city and it was heaven - our own bathroom! A kitchen! flat screen TV! We spent a few days shopping for clothes for our next location - Fiji and just exploring the place. We caught the train to a big
PancakesPancakesPancakes

Or rock strata to be precise
shopping complex called Sylvia Park and had a look around there. Whilst there, we went to a fantastic Moroccan restaurant called Casablanca which, in spite of the service being a bit iffy, served the most delicious food.

On another day we went to the IMAX cinema to watch Transformers 2 which had just come out, but just as we were about to go in, they evacuated the whole building - 3 fire engines turned up and there were fireman walking through the building. However, we didn’t have to wait too long and managed to get in and get our seats. The IMAX screen was absolutely huge! You can only just take in the whole picture and we were sitting in the penultimate row at the back! The seats were very comfy though - headrests and lots of leg room. Bit different from your average Showcase back home. We also ate out on our last night there as it was my 30th birthday (yes, I know what you’re thinking - she can’t possibly be that age as she looks so young!!) and we went to a rooftop restaurant overlooking the quay called Vertigo.

There ends our New Zealand tour - not really sunk in to be honest as you get so used to a place. Anyway, on to Fiji!



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A quaint little churchA quaint little church
A quaint little church

God knows where this was - think it was somewhere that was mentioned in a previous blog. We stayed at a campsite down the road and it was like going back to the 70's - it had not been touched for 30 odd years - and the water tasted funny - didn't like that one.
Kea, our rental vanKea, our rental van
Kea, our rental van

See? Nice and new with a TV but just not the same as our old faithful econovan....
Victoria MarketVictoria Market
Victoria Market

Bit quiet these days - maybe it does a roaring trade in the summer? Wanted to tiptoe around so as not to wake up the stall holders...
BrowsingBrowsing
Browsing

Sporting the new barnet! If you're in Auckland, go to Ocean Blue - they were excllent and my god, that girl knew how to use a pair of scissors!


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