1st – 6th April

Hello again.

Hope everyone is well etc. We are both fine, although Darren was ill for a few days and we visited a Doctor’s in Wellington – so helpful. But he is on the mend now which is good.

After spending a day in the national park – PUKENUI LODGE – Where we were made the hotel’s guest numbers rise to 4!!! There wasn’t a lot to do but we saw mount doom (lord of rings) and lots of countryside etc.

So we then moved on with the kiwi bus – this time there was only 11 on the bus so it was a great atmosphere. Once at River Valley 3rd april(which was a lodge in the middle if nowhere!) we had a chilled night with beers etc. The following morning me and Darren both went white water rafting – a mixture if grade 1 to geade 5 (grade 5 being scary!!!) There was 2 rafts a boy and girl team and much competition between the 2 rafts – the girls definately were better!!! After we had learnt how to row properly, forwards and backwards, jump right and left to twist the boat, hold on and duck down (rafting terminology) we set off down the river.

The lads fell in on the smooth water while we all capsized in the rapids after our guide thought it was funny if she called the wrong command so we all fell in!!! Still we were on the river for about 3 hrs and munched on a moro (kiwi chocolate) on a calm stretch. It was good fun and supposedly is one of the best rivers in new zealand. So that’s one more activity to cross off the list!!

From River Valley we drove to Wellington (4th) The bus chose to stay in the Cambridge Hotel (rather than the recommended Base) and it turned out to be a proper hotel!!! so it was quite posh for us backpackers. Unfortunatly Darren was ill so he stayed in the first night and following day and I went and sight seeing and drinking on our first night with the fellow kiwi bus members. (Sarah, Vicky, Phil …)

On the 5th I went to visit Wellington, I walked all around the Port and then got the cable car up the hill (dead cheap) to the Botanic Gardens. We decided to walk down to the city form the top, and stumbled across the best play park ever!! eg zip lines, swings and huge slides so after playing on it for a while (having not seen the sign saying for only under 14 years!!) we walked to the Observatory and viewed Wellington Port from a telescope. Then made our way past the parliment hive buildings and back to the hostel.

Today (6th) me and Darren went round Te Papa. A fantastic interactive museum all about natural disatsers in New Zealand, New Zealand population and immigration history, Maori history (again) and Art exhibitions. Well worth a visit – it took us nearly 3 hrs to look round it all. Then we just visted the high street for some shops etc and tomorrow (7th – Happy birthday Dad) we cross on the ferry to the south island.

The North Island has been so fantastic I’m sure the south will be even better.

Speak soon

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