I spy something beginning with NZ......
(if anyone knows any car games... post em on the message board... we gotta a lotta driving to get thru! lol )
Heading North from Whangarei, our first stop was at a glow worm cave. Hundreds of the things clicnging to the cave roof, made it look like Milky way!
We headed North to the Bay of Islands and become Youth Hostel Association members! Oh yeah baby!!
The weather wasnt great, a bit overcast, but we took a boat trip to Russell, the old capital, sleepy little place, but used to be the 'Hell Hole of the Pacific' with loads of brothels and roudy bars. No matter how hard Ed tried... he just couldnt find them!
Day 2 we caught a boat trip exploring the Islands, which took 4 hrs. Most of them are privately owned with just a couple of posh looking houses and a helli-pad! - alrite for sum eh?!
We stopped over on one of the islands for an hour, and took a short trip on a glass bottomed boat, saw loads of Snappers and Trivellie.
Didnt get to see any dolphins, plenty of other oppertunities tho in the south.
Being a little choppy out on the water, Rachel managed to turn this amazing green colour! And Laila went this almost alien like purple and orange from the chillie wind on deck!! Strange family eh?!
We took a drive further north to the Waitangi Treaty grounds (the treaty signed between the Mauri people and the British) and learnt all about the history of country.
Driving north again through some beautiful country side with the windiest roads you can imagine, through tropical trees and ferns the size of your house, parting to reveal awesome views of rugged mountains. There's just an amazing amount of forested land (or ' bush').
We arrived at the north of the North Island at a place called '90 mile beach' which is actually 56 miles (90k). There were loads of bus trips all the way up the beach. It was quite expensive, so we decided to make our own adventure. We traversed the dunes and landed on a beach you could see neither the beginning nor the end, pretty weird eh! We ran down to the water ready to jump straight in... until... JELLY FISH!! RUN AWAY! AHHHHHHHH Hundreds of the critters washed up, stingers too! So we retreated to the beach for safety only to be Eaten alive by sand flies.. we still sun bathed for a bit.
Then we drove to Kaitaia, a small township (Hill billy if you ask me!) Laila has decided a mark of a good town is if there is a 4Square (spar type thing).... oh dear :/
Little dubious bout the look of the hostel at first, but it was cheap. Looks can be deceiving as it was actually really nice. We even cooked our own meal.. utterly delicious (pasta n sauce.. ooh how cultural).
Took of early and drove south down the west side of the country towards Waipou Forest and saw the largest tree in NZ. Its a Kauri tree and is over 2000 years old.... that means it was around when Jesus waz ere!
Picknick lunch (actually cheese sandwhiches made with hot bread which has been sat in the car too long, melted marg and rubber cheese, put together on the boot of the car... mmm MMMMM)
Whilst attempting to digest the above, we drove the scenic route to Auckland, which took a long long time, but was BEAUUUtiful.
Managed to find a chineese restaurant desguising itself as a hostel to stay... we can't even begin to explain... just put it like this... we're not eating in :o
Went to Auckland Zoo today, gorgeous weather, loads of fab animals. I adopted a Hippo for Rachel... well it is valentines ahhhhhhh
Tomorrow, we head back down to cousin Joe's in Hamilton.
Loads lurv, Ed, Ra Ra and La la
p.s.hey moo moo, tried to email you but it wouldn't do it. Can you email me then i'll have the right address! xxx