Ok I know I've missed out some of Australia but I'm going straight into New Zealand blogs now as time is going by so quickly and we are so busy! I'll just say Mission beach was great, skydiving AAAHHHHHHH!! Can't believe I did it but it was good!!Cairns was good as we went on a boat trip out on the Great Barrier Reef where we did scuba diving and snorkelling, amazing!We'll tell you all about that when we get back anyway!Also, after writing Singapore Tom is giving up on his blogs!!! He will still be putting the photos on his though so its still worth checking!
We arrived in Auckland on 31st Jan, spent the first day just looking around not doing too much.Its kind of just like an English city so nothing too different.Second day we went to the Auckland Museum, although we had to stop off on the way to watch Man U v Stoke, great! We managed to get to the museum by lunch time and it was very interesting, a lot about the history of the Maori culture and also the volcanoes they have here.We didn't realise Auckland is sitting on about 50 volcanoes, scary thought!We met a girl in our room named Ruth who we stayed in the dorm and had a few drinks with in the evening also booked up our Kiwi Experience bus to start on Saturday.Thursday we went up the sky tower, had a 360° view of the city, we also had coffee and cake in the café at the top!In the evening we decided to go out and see Auckland at night so we went off with Ruth for a look around the harbour and a drink…. Which turned into 8 drinks! Oops.Wouldn't of been so bad but we had a trip planned for the next morning and I got as far as the bus stop before deciding I needed to be back in bed!! Luckily it was free and we'll get a chance to do it when we come back to Auckland, Tom wasn't all that pleased though! My hangover lasted until late afternoon, shocking I know and it was a total waste of a day.In the evening we get to meet up with Tom and Lisa who we met in Thailand, they live about 45 minutes from Auckland.It was great to see them and have a catch up! We went just outside of the city and had a really good pub meal, then arranged to have the weekend with them before we leave New Zealand.
Our first nights stop on the Kiwi experience was Hot Water Beach, kind of self explanatory! At low tide (which was 9pm) we all headed down to the beach with torches and shovels ready to dig ourselves a nice natural hot spring pool! Well, it wasn't as easy as it sounded! There were only a few particular spots to dig for the hot water so quite a lot of people were crowded around, also we had to be really quick to dig the hole before the tide came in and washed the hole away!I say 'we' but I actually mean Tom, Ruth and I didn't actually touch a shovel!!He did manage to dig us a little hot pool to warm our feet in which was really nice as it had gotten pretty cold!
Sunday we moved on to Waitomo, on the way we stopped off at an only gold mining site for a walk.After checking in at the hostel in Waitomo we went to do the Black Water Rafting trip, sounds scary?... It was!!!!! There were two choices the more tame one was the Labrynth and the Abyss was the full on all action one.Guess which one Tom wanted to do? The Abyss!! He and Ruth ganged up on me until I reluctantly agreed to it!First thing we had to do was abseil down into the cave through quite a tight hole! The whole fact of abseiling was scary enough but it was also very dark and I kept managing to bash into the wall on the way down !Anyway once we got down there it was quite amazing.The glow worms were all around the cave and it was very cool to turn our head lamps off and let them light up the cave.The first thing we did was a flying fox, this was really fun and even though it was in the dark! We did a bit of walking through the cave and then a hot chocolate break to warm us up!Straight after this we were given inner tubes and told to jump into the water!It was SO freezing even in the wet suits!Floating up and down, all 9 people in the group linked together in the tubes was fun, despite the cold! We did a bit more walking and swimming before another hot drink break! The last task was to climb up a waterfall, this is where I wimped out and took the easy exit!Tom was really good and did it though!
Monday morning we were up and off to Rotorua. Very popular with tourists for its thermal pools and geysers, however no one mentioned that the whole place smelt of rotten eggs! It was really cool though walking through the park around all the pools with steam coming up out of them! There were also mud pools bubbling away, apparently the mud is good for your skin but I didn't really fancy slapping it on my face!In the evening we got picked up for the Tamaki Maori night. We got picked up and had to choose a chief to lead us for the evening!When we got there we followed our chief in and watched the welcoming ceremony. We were warned not to smile or laugh during this and I was a bit worried that I'd want to but when they started chanting and pulling their scary faces I was just scared!! We looked around a replica Maori village and were shown different skills that they use, like carving. Bit worrying that they use the same techniques from carving to tattoo people!! The meal we were having was made in the traditional way, called a hangi, where they dig a big pit in the ground and put hot stones in the bottom, then put the food in and cover it over. It was like the best roast dinner ever!We both had seconds!
Tuesday we headed to Taupo, didn't do much on the first day and had an early night ready for a very early start on Wednesday.We were up at 4.45am, shock!!! Got the bus at half 5 and it took about an hour to get to the start of the Tongariro Crossing.It's a walk through the mountains 19.4km long, don't think I was quite prepared for this it was quite tough! Well worth it though, the sights were amazing, we walked through the crater of a volcano and past Mount Doom from lord of the rings. You could choose to climb it but we didn't attempt that! I was SO stiff the next day, how unfit am I!!
By the way just so everyone is clear, I am not going to be doing a bunjy jump, and if anyone else says to me 'why can't you bunjy if you've done a sky dive?' I might just lose it….. I don't know why, its just different ok!!!!!!!!!!