25.10.2011 - 01.11.2011
After the antics of the world cup were over we joined the legendary kiwi experience. We weren’t too sure what to expect since we had heard quite a few stories. This was are first introduction to driver Ma, good memories. first stop we explored Auckland a little bit more and the 360 view on the top of Mount Eden. Then back onto the coach and to our first destination which was the Coromadel Peninsula region where we stopped off to do the cathedral coastal walk which was beautiful, deep blue seas and clear sandy beaches.
Then off to our first night stop in Hot Water Beach. We arrived at the lodges which were gorgeous, set in a country setting, a little like centre parks but the real thing. reasons behind the name are that for two hours either side of the low tide hot water rises from beneath the surface and you can dig you own hot water pool during these times. So at 12am we all made our way down to the beach in the pitch black and it was freeeezing cold. The walking across the beach was sooo cold and then all of a sudden it was hot, it was so serial. we dug our own spa pool out of the sand and out splashed the boiling hot water. Really it was boiling hot, absolutely incredible. So picture this, there we were lying in our bikinis in the freezing cold air, lying in hot natural springs looking up at the millions of stars across the sky. it was absolutely beautiful, a moment i will never forget.
There were some really cool and friendly people on the bus who were all up for a good time the next day we were back onto the bus, pretty tired from our adventures the night before. this journey took us to Waitomo where i did the legendary Black Water Rafting! freezing cold waters, wet wet wet suits, and dark black caves..I was thinking what the hell have i let myself in for haha! But as we got going it was wicked. clambering through small caves entrances and lunging into the ice cold waters was epic. The famous glowworm caves were brilliant, high rising caves littered with glowing lights. Once we learnt the stories of the glowworms life however it took away some of the magical feeling of all the lights.....basically they are just glowing maggots that eat and eat and evolve into a steroid looking mosquito with no mouth and stomach, so as a result they cannot eat. so they have sex for 30 plus hours, give birth to all the babies and then die. what a great life haha! Once we finished the caving we went for hot soup and bagels, yum! That night was the night of 'curlys'.. the only bar in the small village of Waitomo owned by a man who goes by the name of curly...apparently he is an international star hmmmm me thinks not. the night was fun, few glasses of wine later and all was bliss. curly decided to get drunk also and the next minute the bar was taken over by us and the shots were flowing!
Our next stop was in Rotorua which stank of eggs. This was due to the volcanoes and the sulphur gases that seep out of the grounds. these however create hot water springs which you can bath in. so off we went to one of the top 10 spars in the world. it was lovely, completely put my body to sleep and met some English farmers haha. After this we went to the bar at the hostel which hmmm was full of young people and a white t-shirt competition – maybe not.
Next stop was Taupo which was home to the largest lake in Australasia. it sits in the crater of a large volcano . Because the lake was so vast it looked like you were on the coastal edge. Beautiful but the weather wasn’t so much. we wanted to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing which is one of the worlds top 10 one day walks, but the weather wouldn’t allow it so we decided to do it on our way back up NZ. that weekend we went out with some people we had met from the kiwi experience and it was a blast. i dressed up as zombie using supplies from Rosie’s Bangkok hospital experience, bandages. It was so much fun, typical night strut my moves on the dance floor, mouthed off at bouncer who wouldn’t let my friend in to the bar and drank tequilas even though I was already wasted – classic! the next morning we were all a little bit worse for wear.
Next stop was River Valley. situated in the middle of no where literally! i had a feeling it wasn’t very well known among New Zealanders. However it was beautiful, quaint barn conversion, warm and cozy....it was raining outside when we arrived and so roast dinner it was....scrumptious, some of the nicest beef i have ever tasted. After some mulled wine, yes i know not Christmas yet but it was going to be hot soon and I didn’t want to miss out haha! Then we headed to bed in the 'spooner room' yes SPPOOOONNNN, it was like a room i have never seen before. long wooden beds with mattresses laid across! some people did some rafting and horse riding, but since i was trying to save my pennies for the south island i refrained and did some yoga on the riverside.
Our next stop was Wellington. It was quite a long bus journey so we didn’t get there until the evening. we had already booked ourselves on the ferry to the south island, since we decided to do Wellington on our way back up. so into the hostel for a few drinks and bed. At this stage not much to comment on about Wellington, apart from the fact its named 'windy wellington'. this was the stop that we left our amazing bus so that we could skip to the south island.