Blogs from Waitomo, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania - page 4


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 5th 2009

Driving Down to Raglan The next stop after The Rock and the Bay of Islands involves a fairly serious drive down to Raglan, a small surf town. While this should be a straightforward affair down the SH-1 through Auckland somewhere before Auckland our travellers encounter a torrential downpour followed by a tailback of stationary cars. After about an hour of not moving, people switching off their engines, getting out for a chat and a smoke, the traffic starts moving again - nasty accident. A recurring theme of New Zealand so far has been only just getting to wherever in time before places stop serving food (usually at 9pm) and the journey to Raglan looks like it will be no different. Travelling through the dark at night taking the satnav option feels like a wise one. Having ... read more
F*** M* It's A Long Way Down
Keep A Tight Hold Of That Lunch Box
Deep Down, Underground

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo November 23rd 2009

Ingredients 1 onion 2/3 cloves garlic 2 courgettes 1/2 tomatoes 1 red/yellow/orange pepper Italian herbs I chicken stock cube salt and pepper to taste Cajun seasoning 250 gms tofu 3 or 4 small mushrooms Couscous or bread roll (or 2) Chop onion into small pieces and fry in a little oil (spray can canola etc is convenient), add finely chopped garlic. Once they've started to fry gently, toss in chopped courgettes,tomatoes,pepper and add seasoning. Add a little water if it looks like it's sticking to the pan. If there's some white wine lying around, now's a good time to add it. But not too much - it's better drunk. Add seasoning. Allow the whole lot to cook and soften up for 10 to 15 minutes. Then add tofu and mushrooms and let them warm through for ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo November 11th 2009

It's been a few days since we've had access to email. We drove into Rotorua and found where the locals stay for the hot springs. While it looked scary from the road it was a total delight to soak in the "natural" springs straight from the earth. It was great to finally rest and slow down. We met some folks from Seattle making thier way around finding cheese makers writing for US magizines. They shared thier cheese while we shared our wine. It was a great evening. The New Zealanders know how to make cheese!. We have a few days left. It's been great .. We're off to the caves tomorrow and hopefully will check in Ken and Laura ... read more
Ken makes friends with the locals
In Hot water
wood carvings

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo November 3rd 2009

With the amount of time and effort it takes to write these blogs I've decided to just keep it simple and use captioned photos. If I get the time I'll put in more detail but for now I'll just keep it brief! Key events: -Curlys Bar: truly awesome bar at the youth hostel - everyone got completely bladdered and the barmaid let us pour our own drinks for free! -Caving/black water rafting: Abseil, zip-line, black water raft and climb waterfalls - tons of fun! In short, Waitomo ROCKS!... read more
Caving/Black Water Rafting
The Caving Team

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo October 10th 2009

When driving around New Zealand you've got to keep your wits about you. The roads are all quite narrow and some involve giving way to traffic you can't see that may be coming around the corner. It's also hard to keep your eyes on the road when driving past so many wonderful sights. The landscape in the north island reminded us a lot of the opening credits to Emmerdale (back when it was Emmerdale Farm) all rolling hills and gamboling lambs. Except the hills are a lot bigger and more vibrant than anything back home. The shades of green we have driven by are so rich they look like velvet. It's a beautiful country. The drive to Waitomo from Lake Taupo wasn't so picturesque as all we could see was sheet rain. It was pretty scary, ... read more
Aranui cave
Aranui cave

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo March 6th 2009

Waitomo It was necessary to go back to Jucy Rentals in Auckland to get some issues with the campervan sorted out on Saturday 28th February. Unfortunately the stormy weather had continued from the previous night, turning into torrential rain and making driving rather unpleasant. From Auckland we drove 71km south to the famous Waitomo Caves. We arrived early afternoon and booked a Black Water Rafting trip for the following day then paid a visit to the Glowworm Cave. Admission into the Glowworm Cave was $38 each, but we got 10% discount - thank you YHA cards. We managed to just catch the 15:30 tour which turned out to be a curse rather than a slice of good fortune because our group contained 2 toddlers who were battling it out to become the biggest screamer. Also our ... read more
In the cave entrance
Our group for the Black Water Rafting
Getting Out

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo January 31st 2009

Hello! We are now in New Zealand. We have 25 days here, so we booked a Wicked Camper (the cheapest, and the backpackers favourite!!) and our plan was to see as many of the highlights as we can in that time. Our camper is called Captain Amazing! Living out of it has been surprisingly comfortable - especially considering it's not really a proper camper van, more like a biggish family car! Some NZ stats for you: - the country is fairly similar in size to the UK, but their population is approx 4 million compared to our 60 million!! - for every member of the human population, there are 9 sheep!! We've definitely realised those stats are true, as one blissful thing about this country is that there are no crowds. no queues, no traffic jams ... read more
neil18-1-08-8am 002
neil18-1-08-8am 004
neil18-1-08-8am 009

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo December 28th 2008

Early morning drive to the Waitomo caves where we set out on a five hour Abyss Adventure with The Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company. After gearing up we abseiled 40 meters down into the caves. Once down there we were treated to some extreme caving exploring via aerial zip lines, jumping off waterfalls, tubing and crawling and climbing places we didn’t think possible. We saw thousands of glow worms lighting the cave. Too bad they didn’t do anything to warm the 50 degree water. It was an exhausting and exhilarating trip and we were happy to check into our hotel in Hamilton for hot showers.... read more
Photo 3

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo October 27th 2008

It cost us far too much, but it was a very nice holiday...... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Waitomo May 4th 2008

Good morning all I think this is going to be a really long blog because not only has it been a while since I last updated but I have also done a lot in that time. So the morning after I last updated we headed on the Kiwi Experience to Rotorua. On the way we stopped for a walk in the rain. It was along a canyon over a dodgy bridge and back which was actually a lot of fun and had impressive scenary. Rotorua is a strange town as because there is a lot of geothermal activity nearby there is a smell of sulphur all over the town. Apparently it is the most visited town in New Zealand (99% of tourists go there). When we got there we headed straight for the luge which was ... read more

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