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Published: March 27th 2008
Sorry we haven't done our blog recently - we've been crazily busy making sure we saw as much as possible before leaving NZ...!
In the last 2 weeks or so we've driven 4000Km and seen so much! It was knackering but worth it!
So, we drove through the Tongariro National Park, past Mount Tongariro itself which is very impressive, all the way to Whakapapa Village... from here we went on a chairlift up Mount Ruapehu - an active volcanic ski mountain! - it was pretty chilly up there! Then we drove to our hostel near Hamilton where we stayed the night. The next day we went to the Waitomo Caves to see the glow worms that cover the roof of the cave like little greenish stars! Toby joined us in Hamilton that afternoon and we began our journey up to Whangerei in the Northland.
On St Patrick's Day we went to Whangerei Falls before driving up to Bay of Islands - beautiful coastline! And the following day we drove all the way to the top of NZ! To Cape Reinga! On the way we stopped at 90 mile beach for lunch - similar to Fraser Island's long beach
in that its an official highway - although we didn't risk taking the hire car on it!! Just before we got to Cape Reinga we stopped at the giant sand dunes, hired a board and went dune boarding! It was so much fun! Basically like body boarding but down massive sand dunes, and they really were MASSIVE! Then we drove to Cape Reinga at the very top of NZ to see the lighthouse. It was a long journey back to Whangerei, so we stopped for Fish n Chips at Manganui on the way.
Our next destination was the Coromandel Peninsula, which was absolutely stunning! One of the highlights was Hot Water Beach which has geothermal springs just under the surface so you can dig a hole in the sand and make your own spa pool! Unfortunately this is not a very well kept secret so it was packed! Hahei Beach was our next stop and later in the afternoon we walked down to Cathedral Cove - beautiful white sandy beach with an archway carved out of the rock by the sea - amazing!
From Coromandel we drove down to Raglan - surf Capital! Here we hired long boards
and attempted to catch some waves with varying degrees of success! The waves and rip were so strong it was difficult to stand up sometimes! It was great fun and exhausting!
Then it was back to Taupo.. and then to Napier for the day to watch the cricket - NZ v England - third day of the test match! The barmy army were in full voice in the afternoon - was really funny!
We then delivered the car back to Rotorua and jumped on a bus up to Auckland. We found a really nice bar that night for some 'farewell NZ' drinks! On Wed we walked into the city for a quick look round and went up the skytower. From the observation deck we could see the crazy people doing the Skytower jump!!
Then it was time for our flight to LA... city of plastic people! We said goodbye to Toby at the airport - he's flying home on Fri, and off we went - sad to leave NZ!
Photos will follow as soon as we can - this computer doesn't have a USB port - so check back in a few days for photos!
Lots of love Sel 'n' V xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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