So I had a really easy flight from Cairns to Auckland with my new friend Tash! We sat next to each other and chatted about our travels and lives and told so many stories. Realised we were going to be travelling New Zealand on the Kiwi bus together which was awesome, so happy to have a friend on it! We had to collect our bags and change terminals in Sydney, and I was happy to have someone watching my back and not having to navigate the whole thing alone. Once in Auckland, my friend Lauren from back home picked me up from the airport. She moved back out here with her family so I had a bed for a couple of nights, and the chance to see a familiar face! So nice to be in a house with a family again, and they took me out and showed me around Auckland which was lovely.
On the 1st of April they dropped me at the bus stop in the city, and I met Tash again and we got the bus to the Bay of Islands together! I was originally only going to spend a night but decided to stay longer to go to Cape Reinga and go on a boat cruise with Tash. Such a beautiful area, and we saw a pod of about 30 wild dolphins on the cruise! The next day we sand boarded on 90 mile beach, reached the Northernmost point of NZ and saw the most amazing scenery. I bumped into Steph who I met on the Gold Coast who happened to be on our bus back to Auckland which was lovely!
Back in a hostel in Auckland for a night, we made friends with Mollie and Susan who were on our bus the next morning, and Tash met her friend Lee from home. So we knew a few people! Over the next few days, we got chatting to a few people each and slowly managed to gather a group. After a few days there were about 13 of us brits who stuck together which was lovely! Hugo, Will and George all knew each other from home and became good friends. Harvey and Dom were joined by their friend Pete from home so they all became friends and could see each other again. We met Aidan, Claire and Alice who had been on our bus since the Bay of Islands. So we went everywhere and did everything together!
After a few days we chatted to a few other people and went on days out and made friends, Sarah, Tash #2 and Kirsty were great fun and always witty and rude! Olivia and Josefin (the Great Danes) were in the boys room in Taupo so we dragged them into it! Then I met Mike and Gemma and made friends with them because they both lived in Melbourne at the same time as me. So we had a massive group of people!
We did absolutely everything together; skydives, bungy jumps, boat cruises, white water rafting, black water rafting, horse riding, sunset boat parties, nights out, we climbed mountains, went to natural hot springs, jumped in lakes, cooked epic meals, climbed the Franz Josef glacier, played cricket and rubgy and watched sunsets on beaches, dressed up as stupid things, spent all our bus journeys together and slept in rooms together. They became my family, and we go so close over the month we spent travelling together.
They were always there to laugh and tell jokes and stories, but when someone needed it we could be serious and helpful. We shared the most incredible experiences, and did so much together. Even the bus journeys were filled with laughs when we played the Game of Life. The bus drivers couldn't believe how close we all were and how quickly we made such great friendships, which was amazing! I still have major post-kiwi blues and am drowning my sorrows in Boost juice.
So now my Australian and Kiwi adventures are over, there's only one place to go! Africaaaaaaaaa! I fly out tonight, and spend the next 2 days on 5 different planes to get me there....I don't know why I thought this would be a good idea.
It's weird I'm flying out via Melbourne. It was the first place I went to in Australia, and now it'll be the last too. My heart is still there and I wish I could go back and visit, but I know it wouldn't be the same and would only make me miss it more. I miss the people and the place and the dogs :(
For now, I'm going to eat and rest before my flight.
Peace out from a very happy Elin xoxo