Edit Blog Post
Published: January 12th 2009
The 13 hour flight to Auckland was such a delight, and we are shocked that Air New Zealand isn't up there on the list of the best, even in economy we had plenty of room and the staff couldn't have been nicer.
We arrived at 5am and waited till 7am in the airport for our car to arrive, when it didn't we called up only to find out the rental company thought we were arriving the following day, so we booked another car at the airport instead!
Numpty Luke had forgotten his licence so it was only me insured to drive the car, much to Lukes dismay.
We decided the best thing to do would be to get straight into the journey, so we headed onto the highway and down to Taupo, taking about 3 hours, arriving to a beautiful day!
We booked into a lovely hostel then showered and changed before heading off.
Our idea was to fill the day full of things to do to avoid Jetlag, so first we headed to Freefall Skydive to book Luke in for the next day with his birthday voucher.
They told him it was going to be horrid weather and tried
to talk him into doing it that afternoon, he declined, but then 20 minutes later changed his mind so we headed back and booked him onto a plane.
Luke headed up and threw himself out of a plane at 12,000 feet (I'm not a wuss I did one four years ago, and for someone who's scared of flying and heights once is enough!)
Luke came down and I haven't heard another word about anything else since - its all i'm going to be a skydive instructor this or I need to do one a month etc etc...... I can see an expensive hobby coming on!
Later on we headed to Huka Falls for a walk and a look at an amazing waterfall, then we went back and had tea before finally caving in and falling asleep at about 8pm.
The following day we drove round Lake Taupo, just for the fun of it, then we headed up to the Waitomo caves. I'd remembered doing these in the campervan days on a small budget meaning we'd stopped to have a look then moved on.
So this time Luke and I did the proper tour. We walked deep down into the
caves with our guide then finlly borded a boat which took us into the pitch black caves. It took a while for our eyes to adjust, but when they did and we looked up we were amazed by thousands of tiny gloworms lighting up the roof of the caves.
It really was a magical trip, we didn't want to leave!
After due to Luke's constant nagging about letting him drive I foolishly gave in, what was I thinking.
20 minutes into him taking over the wheel and 3 times of me asking him to slow down finally he did............. when we were pulled over by a police car!
I sat in the passenger seat, scared stifless that he was going to jail (remember he's no licence) while he got out and poorly attempted to sweet talk a New Zealand officer. It didn't work and Luke landed us with a nice $80 fine, although luckily because we are from England the officer let Luke off without his licence otherise that wouldv'e been another $500 (Luke told him he'd left it in the hotel not in England!)
After the officer had left, I took back over and banned Luke from the
driving seat ever again, until he is sorted out and can behave! Yes the speed limit is stupidly slow over here, but that isn't an excuse!
Next we drove to Rotarua where I took Luke to see the thermal pools.
We managed to withstand the sulphur smell for the one night, then the next day we headed to see the Lady Knox Geyser, only to be slightly dissapointed that its not naturally exploding, but helped along each day by a man with some soap powder!
Next was thermal wonderland, where we saw more pools and the strange New Zealand terrain!
We drove that afternoon right upto Coromandel and I took Luke to Hot Water beach where you dig down in the sand to find big pools of hot water and we had a paddle, almost getting stranded when the tide came in. Then we drove back down to Auckland after to spend the night there, in a lovely room with no windows!
Next morning we headed upto Paihia in the Bay of Islands where we were meeting Lukes friend Chris. We arrived just in time to go for a drink on the seafront before he went out for
the afternoon so we had a tour of the town.
Sounds funny now but his housemate had advertised his sofa to couch surfers (people who stay for free then let you stay with them for free when you go travelling) so Chris had these scabby backpackers staying too, Chris was not impressed!
The next 6 days we stayed here, we visited all the local attractions, and Luke and Chris made us eat out everyday (Chefs can be such hard work) and we would go out for drinks everynight, getting us well acustomed to the time zone out here.
Now we've heard many rumours of the Kiwi bird, so we asked around and not one single new Zealander we met has ever seen one, so we made it our mission to find one!
And we followed the rules of Kiwi searching and after many hours spent scurrying in the undergrowth we have yet to find one, so the question has to be asked, do they actually excist or are they just a devious plot by the poeple of New Zealand to attact tourists (Kiwi's in sanctuarys don't count, they could be other birds made to look like kiwis!)?????
We went to
Chris restaurant on one of our last nights, for some really great food, and of course we had the 5 course tasting menu, which Chris turned into a ten course for us, I have never been so full!
On our last day we travelled up to Cape Reinga which is the very northernly point of New Zealand, where we saw 90mile beach and the gorgeous white sand beaches of the northern tip.
New Zealand was great, especially for Luke and Chris who got to catch up, and for me who got to re-live the days of the campervan (but in better accomodation this time!)
So finally our travelling adventure was over and we headed down to the airport dropping off the car, and yeah so far so good, we've no extra fine from the company! But lets not get our hopes up yet!
Next stop Sydney, and hopefully a new life in Australia!!!
Miss everyone loads!
Tot: 0.048s; Tpl: 0.018s; cc: 12; qc: 55; dbt: 0.0108s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb