Auckland To Wellington, The North Island New Zealand

Wooo hoooo Im diarist of the month, fantastic stuff my mum will be so proud….All I need now is the head sports Journalist at the Telegraph/Guardian to read this and to offer me a job as Cricket/Football writer covering in the Omplyics if there short :0)

Right since my last update I’ve left Perth in Australia and now in New Zealand staying at Jason’s and Mary flat in Wellington and it been great to catch up with them both and I think he’s still in shock that BMS has actually gone live!!!.

I’m traveling on the Kiwi Experience bus doing both the North and South Islands so leaving Auckland and flying out off Christchurch just under a month later. The Kiwi Experience is well worth doing as you go to all the main stops as well as loads off little odd places and bouy is there a lot off them!! While on the bus they offer you the chance to take part in loads off activities all offered at different prices to suit everyone’s budget.

So started off in Auckland and after two flights and lots off time changes I thought I would have a quick little afternoon nap before going out exploring later….oh and as everyone who knows me, knows I do like my sleep 5 hours later it was quite late and dark, buggar!! So just got a bite to eat and a couple off beers before bed.

The next day in Auckland was much better went over to Davenport on the Ferry a lovely old small navy town set near some old mountains with fantastic view offs the harbor and the city. Once back in the city went up the Sky Tower, which is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere, with a height of 328m. I went up just before sunset so I could see Auckland by day and watch the sunset, sadly wasn’t the best sunset but the views were still amazing and it was blooming high!!

So first stop on the Kiwi bus was Mount Eden a dormant volcano and from the top gives great views off Auckland and at which point I noticed how snap happy im becoming, so when I get back you might need a few hours to go through all the pictures!! Then we headed to the Coromandel Peninsula, stopping to do a 2 hour return walk to Cathedral Cove – well worth the trip as the sun came out and a lovely walk! The overnight stop was in Whitianga a very seaside town where we played lots off drinking games which is great way to find out about everyone on the bus and get great nicknames for everyone!!

The next day the main stop was Rotorua. Its the major thermal area of New Zealand so lots off steam escaping from the rocks giving off a lovely Sulphur rotten egg smell!! Nearby to the geo-Thermals is a wicked Luge track which is basically a sledge with very small wheels and some brakes when they worked and you go down various tracks down a mountain trying not too fall out, come last or be beaten by a girl!! Cracking good fun especially with 12 people trying to fit down a course made for 2 or 3 at time!! Luckly no one was majorly hurt few bumps and bruises but everyone loved it and I finished fourth overall.

In the afternoon it was off to the Whakarewa Thermal Reserve/Maori Arts and Crafts Centre –where we learnt about Maori history and life, then we moved on to see bubbling mud pools and then Geysers (said in a cockney accent) – lots of water gushing out of the ground, very interesting but bizarre!! The highlight for me thou, was learning the Haka!!

The girls and boys were split up and taught different Maori dances, the girls learnt the Poi dance (kind off like cheerleading but with very small poom pooms on a string), and the lads learnt the Haka! Then we had to perform our dances to each other in the Maori meeting place. Our Haka went superbly in practice but not so good on the night!! I think taking off our shirts and stumbling off stage didn’t help but the pictures look superb!!

The day’s activities were complete by going to an authentic Maori village. Very interesting evening watching the Maori people perform war dances and explaining the history off their culture and the rituals involved when new people/tribes arrive at the village. Food was also provided cooked in a traditional Maori way called “Hangi” basically by cooking their food in the ground. ‘Apparently’ the same was done for our meal, but I imagine it would have to be a crater to feed over 150 people that were there, anyway it was very tasty and we had seconds too!!

The next day we went to Waitomo not a great deal there but caves!! So when in Rome…….The caving was excellent just went around the caves on a rubber ring jumping off small waterfalls and looking at the amazing bright glowworms who actually are maggots but glow worms sounds so much nicer. The hostel at Waitomo was excellent more like a chalet you get when you go skiing and after one too many beers Dave, Mark (Mikey as some people get calling him hahahahah) and I decided to do Karaoke!! We suitably murdered “Unchained Melody” and “Return to Sender” by Elvis with all the dance moves and quivery lip and Thank you very much Elvis impressions….thank the lord no one had their cameras :0)

Following day, after brief walks at Marokopa Falls and Mangapohue Bridge, and then Huka falls, (all copied out off the guide book if your wondering how I remember all off this and how to spell them!!) we arrived in Taupo, which has a huge lake over 450km but I remember our driver said it was bigger than Singapore!! The following day was another highlight off my trip so far. An 8 hour hike across ‘Tongariro River Crossing’, voted one of the best day hikes in New Zealand.

The hike was amazing it was really hard work as most off the walk is uphill over mountains including Mount Doom from Lord off the Rings and the devils stair case was incredibly hard but the views were out off this world and will hopefully uploads some pictures soon. Well worth doing if you get the time and you can take regular breaks!!

Next stop was River Valley which is in the arse end off no where, not somewhere you would find easily that’s for sure!! A really nice place that’s supposed to be the best place to do white water rafting but just my luck it was cancelled due to not enough water in the river!!! (That’s just a terrible excuse!!) so swam in the river and played golf on a very funky course with loads off sheep on it!! A quick mention about the hostel too everywhere I’ve stayed has been really nice except one place in J’Borg but this place was just bizarre. The arrangements were quite funny a 16 bed dorm, with 8 mattress all in a row then 8 more above all next to each other so very close and friendly but saying that everyone had one off the best nights sleep they’ve had all holiday so not all bad!!

The following day arrived in Wellington to meet up with Jas, his flat is lovely with wicked views off the city and such a cool city it is too, so much to see and do and loads off cool little cafes and bars and loads off nice walks too right up my street. Going to spend a few days here before moving on the south island by Ferry.

Sorry for the big update everyone but is been a cracker off a week and cant wait for the south Island now as that’s supposed to be even better, thanks again to Jason and Mary for putting me up and showing me around the last few days your stars and good luck on your trip and maybe see you back at work. :0)))))

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