We got a bus down to Cambridge ( where Ed's Cousin Joe lives). Getting to the bus was the most we'd had to carry our bags so far and it was up a very steep hill - we both nearly fell over backwards!! We got to Joes and Jen ( another of Ed's cousins) arrived with a car full of Grandparents! We were staying in a camp site that night with Jens mum and dad so we just chatted most of the evening - doing the family catch up thing! Next day we went to Hamilton Gardens. Weather was good and so we had lunch then got on a paddle ferry that took us down the Waikato River - Ed thought the best part of that was the free scones and cream ( not as good as the ones at home though!!)
We had a BBQ that evening then Jen, Joe, Me, Ed and a couple of Joes friends went clubbing in Hamilton. We went to a gay bar! there was a drag act - wait sorry, a really BAD drag act! Rachel got hit on by a woman! ( I didn't think i'd come half way round the world to feel like I was back in Blackpool!!)
Sunday we drove back up to Whangarei which took all day but there were stunning veiws all the way. I don't think when people say its like England but greener really sums NZ up! The greenary is so much more tropical than i would ever have imagined!
The roads are fairly good in town but as you get further away they become gravel tracks or " metal roads" as the kiwi's call them!
The weathers turned bad - i think we're having cyclones! You come half way round to chase the summer and this is what we get!! so we're doing indoor activities! On monday Ed and I drove into Whangarei town Basin and wondered around the town. On tuesday we went to the Kauri Museum - NZ trees that have been in swamps for up to 50,000 years then dug up! also included the history of NZ which was interesting.
Today we went to the Kiwi House with Eds Grandparents. We saw a fully grown Kiwi - they are very odd creatures! And then we were shown a baby kiwi which we could stroke. A starling made friends with Ed and sat on his shoulder for most of the time, pecking his ear and pulling at his jumper! We also saw a Tui - a bird that imitates, it was talking and singing to us!
Weathers still abit rubbish but hopefully it will pick up in a few days!
We've added some pics, so take a look if you get a chance... more coming soon.
Hope you are all well!! x x x x