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Published: March 22nd 2008
Go and get a cup of tea.. this may take a while!
Well, New Zealand (Aotearoa) is so different to Thailand! In thailand we spent a large portion of our time doing nothing at all where as here we have had no time to do nothing at all!! Holly and I feel that we have spent a fair amount of time in Harnesses/wet suits/helmets/safety equipment/etc. and are failry uesd to jumping off/out of planes, platforms, bridges,rocks etc!! My cheeks are actually aching from smiling and laughing so much!!
Ok, so as mentioned before, Holly and I decided to do a KIWI EXPERIENCE tour which basically takes us to all the cool places so a week into the tour this is what we've been up to...
After coming back from The Bay of Islands we spent a night in Auckland then started our trip by visiting the top of Mount Eden (Maungawahu) which is one of the 70 dorment volcanoes in the region. From here you got an amazing 360 degree view of Auckland and a clear view of both sides of the island looking out to Shiny bay and Muddy bay. Apparently Singapore is
the only other place you can see both sides of a country at once! We stopped in a little town called Thames (named after a river there that apparently looks like the Thames in London!) then stopped off at Cathedral cove...only one word describes that place...WOW... just beautiful. I can't even begin to describe the colours the shapes just wonderful. We body surfed the waves to cool off after our 45min walk down hill to the bay then the same up again! We finished up at Mercury bay (Whitianga - pronunced Fit-e-ang-a) a ghost town where there was one bar open!! haha
The next day we set off for Rotorua (a Geothermal hotspot that smells like sulfer but has boiling spots in the ground that bubble at 98degrees on the surface!) Stopping off to go ZORBING which is where they chuck you into a giant inflateable ball with a friend and some water and roll you down a hill!! fun fun!!
The great thing about the Kiwi bus is that each day you stop off somewhere to walk and get some cultural experience squidged in. That day we set off to a massive gold mine. An interesting fact
about gold is that it is considered worth mining the area if you find 1gram of gold in 1ton of rock!!! crazy huh? after that we and walked through completly black caves along an old railway trak used back in the day for another gold mine. It was really funny trying not to crash into the person in front of you! This was followed by a small Rock jump into the river. That evening we went to a recreated Maouri village where we experienced 'traditional' ceremony's a wonderful concert and an even better all you can eat Hungi, which is where they chuck all the food, wrapped up in flax leaves (well probably now tin foil) under hot rocks for a few hours and you end up with the tastiest meat/veg you have ever had! winner!!
Next stop WAITOMO... our cultural stop was at Te Puia, NZ's Geothermal reserve then the afternoon was free to go Quad Biking. I opted out of this one becuase I was a big scardy cat. Holly however is not one to miss out on anything but did manage to laungh herself over the top of the handlebars and the quad rolled over her...
look at the colours...
glad i'm a scaredy cat now!!I took myself off for a walk instead on met some crazy old man who had build a hotel where you can stay in an old plane/ship or train that he happens to have parked in his back yard! haha. The same man has taught a pig to abseil...need I say more?! Waitomo is known for it's caving and glow worms so Holly and I decided to do the extreeme caving option which involved Abseiling 37m into darkness then squeezing through some little holes (mostly large ones though) floating in rubber rings in complete darkness taking in the beautiful glow worms and climbing up water falls. All in all a a highly rewarding experinece. Loads of fun and the fed us awesome flapjacks (Caroline, you might have a rival!!!)
After departing Waitomo we headed to Taupo (actually pronunced toe-pour) which is where everyone goes SKYDIVING!!! we went for the high one 15,000 feet. WOW. My tandem master launched us sideways out of the plane so we fliped round a bit then the feeling of falling was amazing. Humans reach a terminal velocity of roughly 200km/hr and we free fell 10,000 feet in a minute.
Me jumping off a 9m waterfall!!
This is a very safe jump due to all the aerated water. what a rush!
what in intense feeling. wow wow wow. The only damper was that you sign a disclaimer in the "unlikely event that the camera malfunctions we will refund you $10" apparently this happens to one-in-a-million... I was that one!! I still have video footage but I was gutted that i didn't get the photos!! oh well... at least it was the camera that malfunctioned not the paraschute!! hehehe. After the free fall we had another 5 mins gliding around where i got to steer... very exciting.
I'm nearly up to date. Holly an I opted out of the 5am start for the Tongorarreo crossing which was a walk where you get to see 'Mount Doom" and had a lie in.. yep we were in bed till 10am!! havent had that luxary since thailand. The afternoon was spent on a highwire confidnece course where you are strapped into a harness and sent up high rickety bridges to walk along and made to jump from the top of a wobbly toten pole to a trapeize bar where you stand on the top thinking that you are not going to make the distance. AMAZING FUN. and you are capable of so much more
than you realise.
After Taupo we went to River Valley, probably the most remote place I've ever been to, out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but sheep, a valley, a river (funny that) and a lodge. Did you know that there are 4million people in NZ but 68 million sheep? Anyway, there is not much rainfall this time of year so the grade 5rapids were not as crazy as usual so the rafting company does something called "Rubber ducking" this involves being in a single inflateable kayak and heading down the rapids!! Holly and I had loads of fun, I managed to wedge my kayak under a rock for a while and struggled to pull it off! (The pics of that and the skydive vid is on it's way to you mum, please don't cry when you see me jump of a plane!)
ANYWAY, you have probably all finished you tea by now and are getting either bored or jealous so I will stop by telling you we're in Wellington tonight, having a quiet one - 7am on the ferry tomorrow.
A line I read in my book today stuck with me: "Your enjoyment of
something doubles when you realise how lucky you are to be doing it" It's so true. I'm so lucky to be having such experiences. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!!
Miss you all
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