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January 21st 2008
Published: January 21st 2008
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Sky Tower in AucklandSky Tower in AucklandSky Tower in Auckland

from Mt Eden I hope the weather improves.........
Fri 4th Jan:
I arrived in Auckland at 0025 and headed off to collect my rucksack. I dropped my hand luggage by my feet and the next thing I know, this very cute trainee sniffer dog is at my feet! Fortunately that's not the reason I've been so slow updating my blog (just having a good time and being lazy on that front!!!). It apparently picked up the smell of my marmite and branston pickle, LOL!!! After that trauma, go my bag and found my shuttle waiting for me. 40 mins later I arrived at the Fat Camel hostel and checked in.
I got to my private room and just about ready to fall into bed. Was not impressed when the fan didn't work so I actually spent about 5hrs trying to sleep in a sweat box! What a great way to start my NZ trip, things can only get better!!
Got myself up and checked out again by 0740 as my Stray bus was collecting me at 0745. By 0800 it still hadn't arrived but a smaller mini bus had. I asked her what was happening and she said it would be there shortly. Next thing I know she tells
One Tree HillOne Tree HillOne Tree Hill

from Mt Eden
me its already been but she'd drop me at the YHA where they had yet to pick-up!
Got to YHA and got chatting to some girls who were also waiting for the bus. An Englisg girl Chris and a Dutch girl Lisa, who I recognised but couldn't work out where from. Finally on the bus and already feeling pretty drained. I also had another 5 hrs time difference to deal with.
Our first stop was Mt eden, an extinct volcano with great city views. Then south towards the Coromandel Peninsula via the old colonial town of Thames. We spent an hour here, getting some food and wine for our first night and braved some sushi for lunch!
I took a very quick walk into town to try and find a NZ sim card but I ran out of time. Ahhhh, no mobile for 5 days!!!!!!!!!!!
We arrived at Hahei and headed straight down to the beach. We then took some sea kayaks around to Cathedral Cove, getting some good views of the many volcanic attractions, kayaking in, out and through the caves, then onto the beach for hot chocolate and cookies before paddling back.
Back to camp to shower and
Chris, Me, Lisa, VictorChris, Me, Lisa, VictorChris, Me, Lisa, Victor

Waiting for our kayaks
change, then time to all prepare the bbq. Food and wine before jumping back on the bus to Hot Water Beach. You have to experience this place for yourself but basically you dig a hole in the sand and just soak in the geothermal heated water, its amazing, and very hot!!!
It was near midnight when we got back so I fell into bed, absolutely exhausted.

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


We're missing something.....We're missing something.....
We're missing something.....

........the water!!
Chris, Me and Lisa Chris, Me and Lisa
Chris, Me and Lisa

........helping with dinner
Being helpfulBeing helpful
Being helpful

for a change!
Communal bathing!Communal bathing!
Communal bathing!

Someone turn on the cold tap!

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