Well our surf guide to New Zealand says that New Zealand is a very safe place, no dangerous animals or snakes and shark attacks are VERY rare. So i took this to be good news, and after having learnt to not warm up my wetsuit in australias sharky waters i celebrated by having 7 wees in 1 hour on our first surf at Raglan, which incidently was empty as it mid week and not "going off". So i was a little shocked when the day after we leave Raglan a 10 year old boy gets his foot bit off by a shark!! Well we fled to the east coast hoping he wouldnt trace our scent! En-route we did our rafting! Yep it was awesome, check the pics of us dropping down the 7 metre face of the higest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. The trip was a little short as we were loving it, but apart from that it was so much fun and pretty narly. Part of you always wants to fall out on these things, but not here as the boiling water looked pretty dodgy, we were holding on for dear life and even though the whole boat got submerged we still held on and made it! We also did a spot of raft surfing where you sit at the front of the boat at the bottom of the smaller falls and get sucked under and well,,,,wet! Not a lot else to say but great fun and we want more - so if the fun tokens suffice we will do some more on the south island. So we got to the east coast to Gisbourne and then headed to the Mahia peninsula, which with 180 dgree of swell window was supposed to be a surf exploreers dream. We stayed there a couple of nights and drove around lots of dusty dirt tracks, but access was often through private land or down steep cliffs. We got a few waves (well i did, bec decided she wanted some more "quality time" with the van, and her back hurt agian. Thankfully this time only for a couple of days - i reckon shes looking for attention!), so, we got a few waves but nothing great. Suberb views though driving around the countryside. With the surf dying we decided to do the 6 hour trek back to the west coast and spend some time on the Taranaki area. This area sticks out like a semi cirle, in the middle of which is a 2500 metre dormant volcano with snow on top! Such a sight, especially when youre surfing and looking back at it! Theres some great free camping around here right on the beach so we are pretty happy, and there is endless reef and point breaks set up with a few good beachies thrown in for good measure - although the beaches are balck sand which proves a problem when walking 30mins back from a surf burning our feet! We are sticking around here now for the next week until we see Beckys parents in Auckland which will be great - will have to make sure that we find a shower first though or else we might not be let in the apartment! I cant say enough times how beautiful the landscape is - in some ways it reminds me of Wales, but only more varied, green and the locals seem nice!! Yep think that we are getting into the NZ way of life, theres so much empty space and great surf exploration - on more than one occasion we have found oursleves walking across someones gardne to get to the coast! We are both feeling home sick now though as they dont seem to celebtrate xmas much so we are missing the festivities at home, but apart from that all great. We hope that everyone has a fantastic christmas and see you in the new year!