Sunday, 16 March 2014

In A Land of Hobbits and Sheep

I thought it was about time I made a blog about New Zealand. In late-January, early-February Best Friend Rachael and I went over to the North Island. We were there for a week and a half. It was a bit of a rocky start, to say the least. Initially, we'd booked with a hop-on hop-off tour bus that went all around New Zealand. We hadn't realised that we'd had to tell the people who worked there that we wanted to be dropped off on specific days, and when we wanted to move on. That was how we spent most of our first day of Auckland. An interesting start, to say the least.

Then we were off!
Our first stop? Hot Water Beach/Cathedral Cove. Yes. Cathedral Cove. That place where Narnia was filmed. I know. I know. You really have to work to get there (let's not talk about the hike, k?), but it was absolutely stunning. Definitely one of the highlights. Can you feel my excitement buzzing through the screen?

Next stop was Waitomo. There wasn't a whole lot there, and wasn't a huge town. Glow worm caves are what it's best known for. So, of course, that's where we went. I unfortunately, didn't get any pictures. Not allowed. I can't tell you that it was fascinating and words escape me when I think about it.
The next day, we were off for the spectacle of all spectacles. Hobbiton. Gee whizz. That was easily my favourite part of the whole trip. Best Friend Rachael was a little underwhelmed, but I just loved it. It was like there was brown everywhere, and then suddenly green. I'm just going to stop talking about it now, before I start geeing out. Basically, gO SEE IT. You can walk into the hobbit holes. If that isn't incentive, I don't know what is. (admittedly, there isn't anything inside the hobbit holes, but still. pretty cool)
Quick tip though: At the end of the tour, you get a free drink at The Green Dragon. There's ginger ale, cider, and another one that's skipped my memory. So, prepare yourself for that. Best Friend Rachael wasn't.
If you're a fan of stink and mud baths, Rotorua is the place for you. It's the geo-thermal hotspot of New Zealand, and it doesn't ever stop smelling. I wish I could tell you that the smell went away after a while, but it didn't. I'm shivering thinking about it. 

We spent two days in Rotorua. The first night, we went to Tamaki Maori Village. I definitely recommend you go, if you ever get the chance. You spend a whole night learning about the traditional Maori culture, and end it with a traditional haangi feast. Yumyumyum.
We also went and saw thermal things. This is the Lady Knox Geyser. It squirted on me, and I didn't appreciate it at all.
The famous Champagne Pools. I don't recommend you touch the orange part - it's arsenic. Don't touch the water just generally, actually. You'll burn your hand off.
That water is naturally that colour. Not even joking. It made me nervous.

After a couple of nights in Rotorua, we headed on down to Taupo. This was an extra trip we hadn't originally planned on. Taupo is the 'Adventure Capital of New Zealand,' but I can assure you that no adventuring was done there by either of us. 

Taupo really gave off that vibe of sea-side town. It was truly lovely. We had the loveliest people where we stayed too. They offered to drive us around and show us some places. It was wonderful. The picture above was a shot of a river we passed on our way to more natural hot springs. (Best Friend Rachael loves water. I do not.)
After Taupo, we sped back and spent the last few days in Auckland. By that point, we were pretty run down, so we didn't do a whole lot.

We went to Auckland Zoo though. It was ok. Originally, both of us were not entirely convinced about going. But we went, and I don't know about Best Friend Rachael, but I sorta regretted it. I don't know. There's just something so sad about seeing animals stuck in a place. I couldn't help but think that a lot were lonely.


Then we made our way home to Australia and spent the remaining weeks of holidays left working extra shifts so we could not feel entirely broke. And here we are now, with me writing this blog post. The North Island of New Zealand is truly magnificent. I definitely recommend you go once in your life.

Now, let's ignore the fact that I still haven't managed to put up all my photos from Europe that was over a year ago and marvel about how I did it in such a just time with New Zealand.


  1. This is awesome! Oh man do I want to go to New Zealand one day, it looks so beautiful and there seems to be some really amazing things to do there. I loved this post so much

    1. It is just stunning! You definitely need to go :)