As I write this we are on a bus in Chile, going to a town called Pucon and so thought it would kill a little of the 11 hours to fill you in on our last days in New Zealand.
We dropped off our van in Auckland with no problems and met up with our good friends Clare and Adrian whom had just moved out here after getting married. It was really lovely to see them both and they showed us around Auckland, took us to Auckland Zoo and had our fill of Fish ‘n’ chips and the famous burgers from Burger Fuel. Yummy! It was another great couple of days staying in a home rather than a van or hostel too.
After the weekend, we hired a little car and drove up to Piahia in the Bay of Islands and went to Waitangi where the Treaty of Waitangi was signed between Britain and the Maori tribes which created the modern New Zealand on the 6th February 1843 so it was very busy with preparations when we were there. We saw the Treaty House and a copy of the treaty and the waka taua (war canoe).
The weather wasn’t great so we didn’t get to go on a boat trip around the Bay of Islands. We then drove up to the very top of the north island where there was a sign showing you the distances to many different countries and I think London was 18,029 kilometres east!
We then drove to the Coromandel Peninsula and stayed in Coromandel Town and went to see a waterfall and saw Kauri trees which were massive and just appeared out of nowhere! We also went to Cathedral Cove which was about a 45 minute walk down to a beach with an enormous arch in the rock face which made it look like a Cathedral. We then made our way to Hot Water Beach which, is where, two hours either side of the low tide, you can borrow a spade and dig a little pool for yourself and the water underneath is hot! This is from molten rock below the surface. We spent the night in a lovely little old fashioned town called Thames before heading back to Auckland where we stayed with my mum and dad’s friends who moved out to New Zealand about twenty years ago. It was really nice to see them and see photos from when I was little and played with their children and we went to the pub and watched the rugby sevens which Alex was very pleased about!
We made our way back to Clare and Adrian’s and stayed with them before flying to Santiago, Chile on Monday. And so there is another country completed and, now, we are technically on our way home! We both really enjoyed New Zealand from its beautiful scenery to its friendly people. We would definitely recommend going there to everyone!
So now we are a little bit further on our bus trip, our flight from Auckland to Santiago was 11 hours long and we left at 6pm on Monday and arrived at 1pm on Monday so flew back in time and we have been in a bit of a daze the last couple of days! We will fill you in on our first week in Chile when we are more alert!