Usually I'm not ecstatic to be getting up to catch a bus at 8am, but seeing as this bus meant the start of our adventures, I let it slide.
We almost instantly made friends with a girl called Natasha, who found it particularly amusing watching me have to look after David already.
Within minutes of being on the bus, we realised this was going to be quite the experience, as our driver Mangee informed us we would be speed-dating very shortly!
This turned out to be a great way to get to know everyone - even though you had pretty much the same conversation with everyone (including telling everyone that no, me and David are definitely not going out) and you were lucky to remember any names. But it did mean you started to recognise people on the bus, making it much easier to talk to everyone. The only downside was how travel sick it made me. It turns out moving around constantly on a bus doesn't make you feel great.
So during our lunch stop in Thames I stocked up on travel sickness tablets, realising early morning journeys were probably going to become a bit of a problem for me!
Clipboards were passed around during the journey to sign up for accommodation and activities, so we signed up for kayaking in Cathedral Cove.
Kayaking is a bit harder than we had anticipated. Especially when the wind and waves are going against you. But once we got into the swing of it we started to enjoy the ache in our arms and the freezing cold water splashing over us!
Arriving at the Cathedral Cove beach, our instructor made us tea/coffee/hot chocolate and cookies, making us feel this whole kayaking thing was a much better idea.
After chilling out and jumping in the waves, we started to head back. A few of us decided to put on jackets as it had gotten a bit colder with the sun behind the clouds, which made the already disastrous fashion statement suits even more flattering!
The way back was much easier as the wind had died down and the waves were helping us rather than hindering us. We even managed to photobomb a few wedding photos of a couple who were getting married on the beach. Success.
Once we got back to the hostel, we had some much needed fish and chips before going down to hot water beach for the sunset.
When we got down there it was already packed with people digging holes in the sand, creating hot pools to sit in. We found out very quickly that this was much harder than they made it look, and instead took to digging our feet into the sand to find the hot water instead. This did lead to quite a lot of burning our toes when we found particularly boiling spots!
It started to get really cold on the beach (quite exciting after the heat of Australia!) so we went back to our rooms which were substantially better than those in Auckland. Although we still didn't have air conditioning - I'm thinking this is going to be very common in New Zealand.
After a great first day, I started to feel a lot better about another month of travelling and couldn't wait to get to the next place!