March 24th -27th

Hi ya

Firstly thanks for all the replies and comments on my past entries it’s lovely to hear from everyone.

I am fine and so far we have hardly seen much rain in New Zealand, even though the weather report is rain every day!! You have to keep pinching yourself and saying it’s March as it is so sunny. Anyway enough of rubbing in about the weather here! 8)

We started kiwi experience on the 24th – we jumped on a big green bus and started on our journey to Whitianga. We were introduced to our driver Smiley. (nicknamed due to his smile) Once at the office a guy jumped onboard to sing a maori prayer to protect us on our journey – quite moving.

Our first stop on the way was Hot water beach – were you can dig the sand and feel hot water – however we arrived an hour too late for the tides but the beach was nice at least. We jumped back on the bus and next stop was the Hahei Beach and Cathedral Cove. It was approximately 20 mins walk down to this secluded beach. The view was amazing but the walk was knackering.

After 5 hrs we arrived in Whitianga – our hostel Cat’s pyjamas was a lovely family run hostel and cheap too. After buying fish and chips from Flippers (highly reccomend) we went to bed early.

The next day we were on our way to Rotorua. After stopping at Hobbiton (Lord of the Rings) for a quick photo we went on to Rotorua. After checking in quickly we were dropped at The New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute otherwise known as Whakarewarewa. Our few hours there was well worth it, we saw kiwi’s, bubbling mud baths, active geysers, Maori demonstrations and carving workshops. We (and others on the bus) did miss meeting the kiwi bus at the correct time, but he was still waiting an hour later thankfully!!!

On saturday 26th (as the shops were open) we wandered around the town Rotorua. We stumbled across the market and bought a few traditional kiwi items – eg von dutch baseball cap and surf shorts!!! One thing to note about Rotorua is it smells a bit – rotting eggs – all due to the sulphur – it’s not all the time so don’t let it put people off visiting.

Today I woke up early to go to easter service (st mary’s) were they had a youth choir with drums, sax etc. Having given up chocolate for lent on the way back to meet darren i bought a kit kat and treated myself!!!

Once i had met darren we went to the Rotorua museum and Blue Baths. Really enjoyable. The museum was about the historic baths, the volcanic activity in Rotorua along with other exhibitions. We then went to the baths (the original from history) and jumped into hot pools and spas.

In Rotorua during this whole easter weekend there is a latin and salsa festival. So tonight we are off to watch the carnival parade and who knows maybe even try some salsa dancing!! 😆

That’s about it from us at the moment. Were off to the Watimo Caves next then on to Taupo – were Darren will go sky diving and I might (not too sure yet)

lots of love always

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