Getting off the plane and into New Zealand was an interesting experience. After getting food poisoning the night before my flight and nearly not getting on the plane at all I had a miserable flight and then got thoroughly questioned by passport control about whether I'd been to Sierra Leone or Guinea or met anyone that had, apparently I looked Ebola ridden! I eventually got through and the first thing I noticed about New Zealand was my God it was cold!! Coming from the tropical beaches of Fiji to winter in NZ was a shock to the system! I navigated my way to the hostel and basically slept for 2 days as I was so ill. When I eventually ventured outside it was to rain, rain and a bit more rain. Sometimes the rain was sideways and coupled with bitterly cold winds. The first thing I did was go shopping and invest in some closed shoes (I only owned sandals), socks, jumpers, trousers and hats. I also had to buy a bigger hand luggage bag to fit this all in!
The next day I saw the sky tower but I didn't pay to go up it as it was so cloudy and rainy I didn't see the point. I saw the harbour and went on a pub crawl but to be honest I wasn't very taken by the city! It was very built up and industrial, I feel like I would've had a better outlook had it not rained 24/7!
Eager to get out of Auckland I booked onto my first leg of the kiwi bus. I was a bit apprehensive of the kiwi bus having heard many stories about how it is just full of drunken English lads. Luckily it didn't seem to be so! Firstly as soon as we left Auckland the rain stopped! It was a bit cloudy but dry, which was a massive relief. We were on our way up to the tip of the North island of New Zealand to Paiha. The bus driver, named Dallas, was super fun and really helpful, he would talk to us about parts of NZ culture as we drove along. It was really interesting and we also got to stop at a bakery on the way for some tea and breakie! It was nothing like Greyhound or Megabus and the driver definitely made the difference.
There wasn't too much to do in Paiha as it was pretty cold but I did go for a very long (15km!) run and explored a forrest which was almost jungle like. It opened out onto a big boggy lake type area with wooden paneling across. There were no barriers so I decided it'd be best to walk that bit or end up even colder and very wet!
There was a BBQ for us in the evening and we all had some drinks but a few of us decided to hit the hay early as we were heading back down to Aucland the next day whereas the rest of the bus were staying and going on a tour for 2 days further north. It wasn't the most thrilling trip but luckily my next bus was to be way better!! :)