Good bye New Zealand
Can you believe my first month is up already and what an incredible month I have had I have loved every minute of NZ, the nearly daily early morning bus trips (well sort of loved), the incredible people I have met, the crazy things I have done and of course seeing my beloved Tash Tash and meeting Gav. I've had so many high points I can barely decide which would be my favourite, what an amazing life changing trip I have had! Lucky lady indeed!
My last few days in Nz, 6 days were spent in Auckland and 3 days spent in the bay of islands. Auckland was chilled and involved alot of sunbathing and sleeping. Auckland is nice, it's a busy city but to be honest there is not alot to do here when you are at the end if your budget (which I had already slightly overspent). It had lots of shops and a few skyscrapers, it's unique that it's a busy city one way you look then you look the other way and it's a busy dock with the beautiful sea with lots of ferries, boats and yachts. You could get ferries or buses to local beaches but again this cost money so we decided to spend our time sunbathing in the Albert park, which is beautiful and very busy. The weather had been amazing and soooo hot since we have been here so was great for topping up tan. Auckland sky tower is pretty awesome but again you have you have to pay to get walk up it, so I just took a picture, the same with Auckland harbour bridge. You could bungy off both too but I can safely say I've had my stint of bungying! lolz On 2nd day it was a public bank holiday Monday in Auckland, so it was so busy and had lots of live music and festivities going on, immense atmosphere. Think it was Auckland day. I had met up with my friends from the bus again and our friend we travelled South Island with met us on our 3rd day for her last night in Nz so we had to go for farewell drinks to say hello again catch up and then goodbye. The following few days were much of the same, chilling, walking, drinking, dancing and enjoying the sunshine ready for my weekend in bay of islands
When we got to Bay of Islands the cloud had been getting more and more overcast, the bus driver said it had been having a bit of a drought and it hasn't rained in 5 weeks! Well we changed all that, it was raining from start to finish for the whole 3 days, with a few periods of spitting Fortunately the hostel was awesome, it had a swimming pool (more of a pond then an actual swimming pool) and a hot tub (which was actually lovely and warm). The room was more like a chalet and we had two bedrooms of 4 beds, a small kitchen and an en suite bathroom (that's luxury). When we arrived, I went for a walk with a girl from my room, the place we were staying was called Paihia, it was a lovely costal town, just a shame we couldn't see it in sunshine. It is rumoured to be called Paihia - because a Reverend visited and only knowing a few words of Maori said 'pai here' 'pai' meaning good, therefore saying good here. The first afternoon was spent in hot tub and then the whole bus (mainly people starting there journey) went to the hostel BBQ and watched the live band, it was really good! The 2nd day I booked a day trip to Cape Reinga, it was another very early morning 7.15am, probably should have gone to bed earlier or had less wine the night before as it was a struggle to get up. The bus driver was maori and told us amazing stories, facts and legends en route to different destinations. The first stop was to hug a tree as apparently it revitalises you (I needed that) at Manginangina Kauri forest walk, some of the Kauri trees were over 1000 years old. I have the token snap of me hugging a tree We then drove further north and took a drive on a beach (yes you are allowed to do that and its a public highway in Nz but I wouldnt fancy getting stuck in the sand or caught by a giant wave). It's called 90 mile beach, although we were told it wasn't actually 90 miles long, about 55 miles but apparently when it was first seen at sea they guessed it was 90 miles long. It was still quite a miserable day but the waves looked fantastic, really giant and occasionally would crash on side of the bus. We drove the length of the beach then went to find some massive natural sand dunes to partake in a bit of sandboarding. It was so much fun, you literally slide down the sand dune on a body board The walk up the sand dune was tough as the driver picked one of the biggest, and he gave you a quick lesson on how to lay on board and where to hold and pushed you down! Wayyyyyyheyyyyy, although I fell off at the bottom as crashed into a hole.... Haha! My board kept sliding and I tumbled down after it! Made the mistake of screaming and then got a mouth full of sand, which you literally got everywhere else too! You use your toes as breaks or to slow you down and it literally took my toe nail varnish off! Following that we drove to Tapotupota bay, a lovely little beach, to swim in the sea (I paddled) and to wash off the sand (I used the spring shower). The sun had then came out and it was quite bright although with a breeze! Beautiful We then headed to Cape Reinga or as the natives refer to it as Te Rerenga Wairua. This is a very spiritual places for the Maori people as they believe that this is the departure point for the spirits to return to there homeland- Hawiki. It's also the most assessable point north of Nz and is where the Tasman sea meets the Pacific Ocean. This is symbolised by the famous Cape Reinga lighthouse, you can literally see the two different colours of the different sea's. It's so beautiful, we could also see the bay we were then sitting on, very surreal. The walk down is lovely and it continually has plaques explaining the beliefs, cultures and different view points of Cape Reinga. There is also a symbolic hill which is named Atua Peruperu, it is believed you can hear the sounds of the spirits passing through on there spiritual pathway, so I climbed the hill thinking and remembering a few people. It's a very mystical place and although it had brightened up, it still had a misty cloud covering Cape Reigna. It's one of the most beautiful places I've seen! The drive home from Cape Reinga was quite long so we stopped twice, once a wood carving store, the things they could carve out of wood was brilliant, then we stopped for Nz famous fish and chips, but got to be honest not a patch on English chip shop chips, the fish was nice but I know where my loyalties lie! That night I showered, removed all the remaining sand, repainted my toe nails and fell asleep about half 8..... Got to be honest, travelling is tiring
My final day at the bay of islands was basically hanging around. The weather was still miserable, had a walk around and took a few pics but they don't look great! Now in Auckland, all packed ready to leave tomorrow! I'm so excited to be in Oz..... Chapter 2 begins!
Lots of love,