New Zealand Part 2: I got there in the end!

Sitting on this sun lounger in Gili Trawangan looking out at the oh so beautiful sea has got me all inspired (despite the sun block in my eye!) I was once told to finish what I start, and I have to admit that I haven’t been so good at that when it comes to blogging. Now writing in my journal comes easy to me. But let’s start now…

So New Zealand travels were in April: an adventure packed two weeks and we managed to see so many highlights and experience so many wonderful things. Obviously more than two weeks would be amazing…not even two months could cover all the beautiful sights to see but boy did we try.

Auckland was the first stop. I came with my wonderful friend Sinita (who will be happy that I’m finally writing this blog!) and my equally wonderful friend Claire (who made the looooong journey from home for our adventure.) Auckland, despite being New Zealand’s busiest city was quiet…although coming from Bangkok many places are quiet in comparison (if you’ve ever been to the city of squalor you’ll know what I mean!) We strolled around the city and had a few drinks in some local pubs…nice and relaxing (despite the house party full of eighteen year olds we ended up at!) Chilled was just what we needed in order to be ready for the adventures that followed.

My friend Claire is super organised; I’ll attempt to attach her itinerary here so you can do New Zealand in two weeks too if needs be:

nzitinerarysinitaclaire

From Auckland we travelled to Rotorua for some exploration and adventure! We went white water rafting in level 5 rapids…I love the adrenaline! We jumped off a bridge into a plunge pool, floated aimlessly down the rapids in our life jackets and went down what seemed like huge waterfalls in the raft…my friend was even catapulted off the raft which she did without hesitation! It was so exciting…and it definitely highlighted that I need to do some work on my upper body strength…I won’t tell you about landing in the crotch of some poor guy who pulled me into the raft!

Followed by this was a trip to a national park to explore some geysers (not pronounced as the dialect of an Englishman as I thought!) The colours (and smells!) were definitely interesting. Sinita, the scientist, informed us of the sulphur and so on and so forth. There were greens and yellows as I’ve never seen before, and steam to match!

Geysers.jpg

We went from adventure and natural phenomena to more wonder…

Waitomo, to the glow worm caves. This was my FAVOURITE thing about NZ, although that is a bold statement to make…literally everything we did was amazing…as Sinita kept yelling, just in case we didn’t realise it! Being a little claustrophobic, I was hesitant at first but with the support of a lovely guide, and equally supportive friends I went in.

And boy am I glad that I did. The cave itself was a wonderful sight. Who would have thought that a tiny entrance could open up into such a space?

Not me apparently.

We walked through the stalactites and stalagmites and my years of studying geography came flooding back to me. That in itself was awe inspiring yet it didn’t even prepare me for the magic to come.

I say magic because that’s what it is. The quiet calm and lull of the boat as you pass through the cave, taking in the stars of the glowworms above that reflect in the water beneath. I felt so at peace there. I could have stayed there for hours. Despite it only lasting a few minutes, it felt like a lifetime. Such simplicity yet such inspiration.

We stayed there for one night and then it was off to Matamata for some hobbit hunting! Even if you’re not a Lord of the Rings fan you will love it here. The little hobbit holes in an array of colours and the facts about the filming of the trilogy and of The Hobbit trilogy is fascinating. My friend aced every question…she is a much bigger LOTR geek than me! Me? I’m into it for Aragon and Legolas. A girl can dream can’t she?

We left Middle Earth to return to Auckland and fly to Wellington to complete our trip of the north island. We stayed there for two nights, exploring the city and sipping on some delicious cocktails. The food there is delicious! We had a delicious breakfast and some more delicious dessert! I could eat that pavlova right now actually! One day we climbed to the local peak and took in some breathtaking views of the city and surrounding water.

wellington-views

Another day, we explored the harbour taking pictures and strolling into boutique shops, and sat on quirky steps such as this one…

w-steps

Afterwards it was onto the ferry heading for Picton; this may be the most beautiful ferry trip I have ever been on, weaving in and out of the sounds.

If I thought the North Island was gorgeous, it wasn’t even close to the beauty of the South Island.

That adventure is for another time, after I sip this Bintang. I’m not even a beer drinker but when in Rome…or Indonesia even!

 

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