Hi All! Well we got to NZ on Monday evening and were collected from airport by Tracy which was fab....stayed with Tracy and Andy in Auckland for 3 nights. Got to see the city including the quay area which had lots of nice pubs, also went up Skytower for some great views (apparently 48 volcanoes are visible from there).
Left Auckland on Thursday having picked up our car - was meant to be a very girly turquoise one (Chris not happy!) but then it turned out the tax would run out too soon so we got away with a silver one! Left for the Coromandel coast to a small place called Hanei. Found an interesting 'cabin' (yuck yuck!) to stay in......we were here though because 2 mins down the road was 'Hot Water Beach' where you take a spade and dig into the sand to make your own hot-tub. There are loads of hot springs all along the beach so they make the water super hot! Good fun.
Next day we headed down the coast a bit to the Bay of Plenty. Stopped in the largest place called Tauranga - not loads here but we had a wander around and went to cinema to waste away some time! Came to Rotorua yesterday, staying in a lovely hostel. I'm happy because Chris had warned me that the place absolutely reeks but the wind has meant that we've managed to avoid the smell quite well. Went to a Maori Village yesterday for a walk around geysers, mud pools etc. Saw a cultural dance as well which was cool. We then decided we would try out 'zorbing'. Hard to explain but its like a giant washing machine! Huge inflatable ball thing with Chris and I inside, loads of water then pushed down a hill!!!! Good fun but v disorientating! We went to the Polynesian spa in the afternoon to enjoy views of the lake and the thermal pools.
Today we started off planning to go to the orchid gardens....however we got all the way there to find that they don't exist anymore...then Chris' favourite flip-flop broke! Headed back to the hostel to pick him up a pair of shoes! Then we went to a giant gondola place which had 3 luge tracks. Had great fun racing down the mountainside and fortunately I won the all important 'Advanced Track' so xtreme that you have to be over 10 to go down it! lol. Off to Taupo tomorrow.