Back on the road again! After a few days in Auckland, we hit the road with Magic bus up to the Bay of Islands and the seaside town of Paihia, which is at the northern end of New Zealand and where the original settlements were back in the early days of New Zealand. Aside from the rain, it was an amazing location. We went to the grounds where the Mauis and the British signed the treaty that founded New Zealand as a country - even went to a cultural show and got to experience the haka (slightly intimidating to say the least).
We are now heading south. We are spending a few days here in Rotorua, famous for the many Maui locations, the sulfur (which is a lovely smell to wake up to), the mud baths, and the hot springs. On the way down here from Auckland, we got to see some amazing scenery - just stunning mountains and fields (very much like the rolling hills of Rohan lol). It's just so difficult to get over how deserted this coutnry is, especially after Australia. Oh, and Hannah and I made a little detour to Hobbiton! It was quite weird being there, but really awesome - especially because they are building up the set again to film The Hobbit (which sould be out end of next year) so the whole set was starting to look very much like it was in the triologies. We stood under the party tree, sat infront of some hobbit holes, got to see some new ones being built, etc. I got some good pictures (on my new camera - I had to buy one in Auckland as my old one died), but unfortunately due to copyright and all that I cannot but them up on the internet. Its all very secretive!
Tomorrow we are hopping back onto the Magic bus and heading down to Taupo, and from there I may attempt to climb mount doom! Or mount ruapehu, as it is normally called. The Magic Bus is awesome, the driver takes you to random stops along the way to your destination - like in the Bay of Islands, we stopped at some famously designed toilets and to see one of new zealands biggest trees (13 meters diamater). The driver also books your accommodation, and based on how many nights you are staying somewhere he then books you onto the next bus. It is the ultimate lazy traveller experience! No organisation is required, its amazing. There are also many suggestions of activities to do, so I have a feeling my money is going to run out rather quickly over the next 3 weeks here! I've already planned to do a glacier climb, a skydive over the mountains at Franz Josef glacier, and a bunge jump. Oh dear...