Having missed Monday 15th June due to the international date line, we are now in Auckland. Everyone is so friendly here, and much more geared to backpackers than America, so much so that we even got a discount on the airport shuttle bus! We are staying in a lovely little hostel that is very homely and welcoming, only a short walk from the city centre. Although now a short walk has now taken on a much more lengthy definition to save our pennies!
Yesterday we were pretty jet lagged so just wandered round the city fairly aimlessly but still got a good feel for the place. It is a small city (even though it is NZ's largest) with a beautiful harbour on one side. We did invest in some warm clothes (super stylish thermals) as lots of snow is currently falling in the South Island and is even predicted to move North in the days/weeks to come. Today we were a bit more adventurous and took a ferry to a little island called Rangitoto, a volcanic island that erupted out of the sea just 600 years ago. We walked up to the crater summit along a path littered with untouched volcanic rock. The island is open access but was amusingly purchased by the European Government from the Maoris in the 1800s for a mere 15 pounds! The weather was stunning - clear blue skies although it was still pretty chilly in the wind, particularly on the ferry.
Tomorrow we hire our campervan and so we are currently deciding where to go after Auckland. It seems there are so many great places to see so we are going to have to make some tough decisions as to where to go and where to miss. Any tips from anyone who has been here would be much appreciated...!
Hoping you are well (and not enjoying the British summer too much), please stay in touch, we check the message board often. Also please be patient waiting for photos, we are always on the look out for internet cafes which allow us to plug in USB cables. Love Rachel and Simon xx