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Published: December 31st 2015
Okay so we got to Taraunga Central Backpackers hostel and if we hadn't paid for two nights upfront, we would have left! It stank of BO, we weren't shown to our room and as soon as we walked in we sort of just looked at each other, sat on the bottom bunks (sleeping on the bottom bunk in a hostel is amazing) and said... Well, at least it's 2 nights...! We just didn't feel safe there at all, we went to check out the toilets and kitchen, filthy, scared to live there. We actually had to eat off of our hands which was hilarious but kind of sad that we didn't want to eat off of the plates or eat with cutlery!
Okay so we got to Taraunga Central Backpackers hostel and if we hadn't paid for two nights upfront, we would have left! It stank of BO, we weren't shown to our room and as soon as we walked in we sort of just looked at each other, sat on the bottom bunks (sleeping on the bottom bunk in a hostel is amazing) and said... Well, at least it's 2 nights...! We just didn't feel safe there at all, we
went to check out the toilets and kitchen, filthy, scared to live there. We actually had to eat off of our hands which was hilarious but kind of sad that we didn't want to eat off of the plates or eat with cutlery!
The next day we made our way to hike up Mount Maunganui, we did a smaller version first to see a small view then did the big one! Took us 1hour20, it was seriously hot so we took our tops off and went the top bit in bikini tops and shorts which was refreshing! We saw 360° views over Taurangua, we spotted a beach so said as soon as we get back down we would sunbathe. We got to the bottom and was handed free Lipton ice teas! We tried each different flavour, peach, Berry and lemon... Amazing! So us being freshened up we headed to the sand and had a nap. When we woke up, we went for another ice tea and walked to another beach, lay down and chilled and watched the water sports go on around us. We spotted a few open water swimmers and it's a shame we forgot our togs as
it looked so lovely to swim in and do a training session!
The following morning we caught the Intercity bus and headed to Rotorua. As we entered the city, you could smell the rotten eggs from the sulphur coming from the volcanic gases! We went on a thermal springs walk which is where you can see mud lakes bubbling away and sometimes exploding like little volcanoes, these would be at a temperature of 140°c + so definitely no relaxing in there!! It was again, a very hit walk as the steam would be 100°c + and we would be walking through the steam at some points plus 40°c sun on us.
The morning after we went for a little stroll and decided to go on a pedalo in Lake Rotorua, it was very calm! We got picked up to head to HOBBITON!! This is where parts of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were filmed, it was incredible knowing the actors were actually there, we felt tall that afternoon for once! The little hobbit houses and clothes were so sweet! After we were dropped off we went to the Polynesian Spa which is where they have various
hot pools ranging from 38°c-42°c. There we chatted and chilled amongst loads of other people.
At this point I've been in New Zealand for 1 week exactly! It has gone so quickly as been so active and busy, still two weeks left ahh!!
We got picked up for white water rafting at 1130am by our instructor Cam. He was awesome, so laid back and had a love for life! Charlotte and I were fairly nervous as we had heard some people have died by falling out and getting trapped etc. The adrenaline when we got onto the raft with 4 others (all couples)... Was amazing! We all had an excellent time, jumping off ledges that were 4m high, going down the 9m waterfall screaming our lungs out, Cam capsized the raft so we all fell out (Apparently the raft hit me on the head, I didn't feel a thing though, no surprise there... No sense no feeling), Cam then got us to jump out of the raft and float down the fast flowing river and down a smaller waterfall, we also had to STAND on the raft and go down two waterfalls, I am so surprised we didn't fall
off or fall down... Maybe I'll be amazing at surfing after all!! We bought the photos as they were actually really good!! When we got back to town afterwards, we had showers and a nandos lunch (It's not as good as the UK version)!!
We headed to our Maori evening which included eating a Hangi meal (food is cooked underground by heating up rocks and letting the hot steam cook the food), a Maori performance which included the Hakka, singing, dancing, explaining their tools they used to use when attacking or building, explaining their facial tattoos on men they are of 4 birds (parrot-talking skills, bat-can't remember, owl-wisdom, KIWI-NZ symbol and the left side of body represents their father and the right side is mother. Each of their tattoos represent something special to them and most of them may not tell you what they mean. We then were surprised to be shown the glowworms in their forest! That was stunning but fairly hard to see!
New years Eve! We went to the bungy jump place for Charlotte to do her jump! It was amazing to watch, and I was so tempted to just do it but because of
slipping my disc in my back last year I thought not, wise choice made by me!! We then walked around part of Lake Taupo and then town, food shopped for our Tongariro crossing tomorrow (lots of water, sugary sweets and bread). Got back to the hostel and did some washing and cooked dinner, almost set the place on fire as our sausages spat and smoked out the kitchen oops!! Although it is new years Eve, we have been in bed since 7pm chatting and updating our travel journals. I'm fairly sure we will be asleep by 9.30pm but we are getting picked up at 5.30am to do this very famous crossing which will take us anytime between 7-9hours to complete altogether! I would much rather be doing that than nursing a hangover, and would rather start my year as I mean to go on!
The next time I write on here it shall be 2016! So everyone have an amazing New Year's Eve and just remember I am in the future to you guys at home ;-)
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