Well, as we've planned to go around New Zealand, we spent hours and hours finding the cheapest possible campervan that there was! Finally decided on going with a company called backpackers, our van was a breezer... very cosey indeed! The cost worked out in £'s to be around £10 a day! So, you can't complain! The day we got it the boys went and picked it up, whilst me and Katie waited at the hostel with our ton of a baggage! After waiting for hours, the boys got back- we loaded the camper and went off to the supermarket. Stocked up on a ton of pasta and noodles, then our travels began..........
First destination was Whangerei, where we parked up on the side of the road and slept for the night... started as we meant to go on... was a little daunting but as it was the first night it was all fun! Next stop was kerikeri after rushing to the loo as was going to explode! At kerikeri our walking trips begun! So it was up a mountain around a lake, before relaxing in the sun! Then made our way up towards the bay of islands... stopping at chocolate and fudge shops for free tasters! Took a tourist drive around Mantarai Bay, so beautiful beaches and scenery! Me and Marcus got so involved didnt notice the petrol gage, approaching red had to divert off course leaving katie and nick at the top of hill whilst we went and found petrol! It was like going into a hill billy town, got out pretty sharpish! We stopped and had jam and marmite sandwiches- luxury! Where a huge dog made friends with Marcus on a beach. Got back in the van and headed back down before camping on a beach front just off Puhia.
My day of driving- was a little scared, as the van is alot bigger than the little red bug. Didn't attempt to reverse and driving up the unmade windy roads with hands sweating was not a good combination! Didnt last too long, Marcus was soon driving again. Destination today was Whangerei falls... had to walk through a rainforest to get to the bottom, but was well worth it! Soon started raining hard, so hurried back to the car and continued driving South- stopping at a few tourist attractions e.g. beaches, park etc. Before having the first tuna and pasta, of many, of the trip. Then drove till it was dark, past Auckland and down to Hamilton. Camped outside someone's house on the river
front but it was next to a toilet.
Woke up, raining hard, but decided to go down the i-site to see if we could go blackwater rafting... luckily we could, so we rushed down
to Waitomo and got ready to go. This is where the craze to find a plug socket started as our electrical stuff was running out of charge.
Had to get changed into freezing cold, soaking wet, wetsuit. You wouldnt believe how cold it was! Was then given helmets, boots and a rubber ring to go rafting. Had to talk to the top of the river in the pouring rain, just after jumping into a river backwards, took my breath away! Once in the dark cave, the adventure begun... slipped and slid down caves, jumping off waterfalls and playing 'find your way out of the pitch black cave'. Funny stuff! Topped it off with free soup and bagels.
Next day... did some indoor rock climbing and a couple of walks before driving East.... ended up driving to Mount Monganui, where me and Marcus climbed up the mountain... took a good hour and a half, nearly killed us but we were becoming pro's now! Had lunch on the beach and then drove South to Rotorua... Marcus found a place called 'Hells gate', which was an active thermal spa... where we indulged in a mud spa, followed by an open air 41 degree spa... the place absolutely stunk of egg, and even at the end of the trip our clothes still stink after 3 washes- which makes me sick! Was a good experience though, and as we hadnt washed for a few days, it was the best as it was a free shower!
Woke up in Rotorua and headed to the i-site to book some activities to do over the next couple of days, was a beautiful day, and Marcus
randomly booked me and him on a sky dive in Taupo for 2 hours time! Did s*** myself, didnt talk for those 2 hours but once we were there
and getting kitted out, i met my instructor who straight away started joking and making sarcy comments about making me fall! and check the equipment after as he said it was loose! actually put me at ease! We then headed up in a bright yellow plane, travelled to 12,000ft. After a 1000 i thought it was bloody high, didnt look after that! Marcus was the first out, then i followed behind! Being hungover the edge of the plane was the scariest part! But once we jumped it was amazing! You wouldnt believe the views! When we landed, my heart was in my mouth but would so do it again! Then we drove back to Rotorua.
We woke up and looked forward to all the activities that we had booked, today was the 'triple bypass'... zorb, jet boat and the swoop... swoop was up first, you lie in a sleeping bag, get cranked up by a crane, until your vertical, and then release yourself by pulling a cord,the freefall i screamed louder than on the sky dive! But only lasted 10 seconds! Very similar to a bungy! Jet boat was good, but quite short, and the zorb was wicked... marcus and nick went down seperately but me and katie went down in the same inflatable soaked ball, and got thrown down a huge hill, slipping and sliding all the way down to the bottom! Laughed till i cried.
Next day, we were up and ready for whitewater rafting... got kitted out in some awful jumpers... got thrown about in the raft and went down a 7 metre waterfall! was very scary, as we had the quickest lesson on rafting before doing it! When we went down the waterfall we completely went under! The pictures show the extent of it! Ended up finishing the evening off with a polynesian spa, thought i'd walked into Japan! So many japanese! They go around in their hundreds! Spa's were good but the smell of egg was getting to us, so we didnt stay too long!
Woke up all clean and refreshed and went up a gondola up a mountain, where we did our lugeing (a skateboard with handles), raced down the mountain on a track. Had 3 go's, and because we were altogether, it was one of the best activities! So funny! Bumping and banging into each other!
Drove down to Taupo, where i woke up in the middle of the night not a well girl! Not good when you havent got a toilet on board. Let you use your imagination! Today katie and nick decided to go sky diving, where we became the photographers for them... returning the favour!
On alot of our travels we ended up being the only one at the venue... got to Napier and had a whole marine show to ourselves! Also we had ice skating rink to ourselves and a swimming pool to ourselves! I think not washing for 5 days was beginning to scare people off!
Finally made our way south to catch the ferry, stopping at a few places along the way e.g. palmerston north, wellington... but was saving ourselves for the south island so spent alot of time just wasting the day.
Our luck so far with showers had also been good, cheapest at this stage was $2 for 4 minutes!