A Travellerspoint blog

Auckland

End of New Zealand

semi-overcast 19 °C

Auckland skyline.JPG

Well, its been emotional... well, if im to be honest, it still is rather! Into the last 2 weeks of our Kiwi adventure and its been a hoot. We sauntered into the largest city on Saturday morning, partly driven by the rain, and partly by the promise of excitement and more importantly, nightlife. Friday we stayed at a small surfer campsite just outside of Auckland in a village called Piha, it was lovely and we cooked a nice Curry and sat and drank some wine purchased hours earlier from Nobilo Wines! After eating and being bitten to death by what can only be described as genetically engineered Thunder Flies, we took off to the beach and watched some of the local youth bravely surfing the ten foot waves... Totally Far out man!
After half an hour of this, we grew thirsty so wandered off looking for refreshment. Ending up at the hippest place in town, we ordered 2 pints of lager... Now before i continue, i would like to tell you what the place was. It was a place where old and young met in complete harmony, it was where the drinks flowed and the incessant chatter of individuals floated on the slight sea breeze. It was in fact, the Local Lawn Bowling Club! There were no stuffy white jackets like in Britain, 20 year olds were playingt 60 year olds and peoples dogs frolicked in and out of peoples legs, urinating at will on bowling ball bags! No-one cared! And more importantly, the beer was $3.30 a pint... that's just over one pound to you lot!
Saturday was spent in Auckland and spending lots of money on coffee and activities.. we havent done that much since.. we are currently residing in a campsite run by a mini hitler and his wife.. he showed me where to park the van on Saturday evening and went completely off his rocker when i didnt get it spot on! As such, we now completely disregard all camp rules and as we are staying tonight as well, we may get drunk and p!ss on his van!

Sky Tower (Auckland).JPG

Laters!

Pollyali

Posted by pollyali 18:32 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

EZY MARK 2

And a few bits and bobs inbetween

sunny 23 °C

What a last 10 days we have had.
We left you in Rotorua pondering the lax level of car driving in this fair isle and have since progressed north to seek sun and sand.
We departed the sulphorous Rotorua and journeyed to the Coromandel Penninsula which was roughly 100km further North. We made it as far as Paeroa's Northern border when the weather closed in and forced us to make camp for the night. We picked a nice little campsite with the usual smattering of Ducks and hens and settled down to some packet soup and an episode or two of ER (we have watched all of seasons 1-3!) At around 1am the wind started to pick up and our little van was battered for three hours as the tempramental New Zealand Spring threw all it could muster at the region.
Awakening bleary eyed we decided to sack off the Coromandel and head instead to Hamilton which is the 4th largest city in New Zealand. T'was ok, shops and Cafes and some hhhuge Gardens which was all sorts of designs from different countries. We also went round the Zoo and annoyed the various animals. Unfortunately, both the above activities were blighted by bad weather and on both days we had to retire early as we were both sodden.
Leaving Hamilton on Saturday we decided to call our campervan rental co as there were several problems with the van and we were so close to Auckland that we could take it to their depot if needed. To cut to the chase, we managed to swap our grotty, smelly , faulty van for a spiffing new one complete with blacked out windows and electrics that worked! We then drove up to North land (the part of the north island above Auckland) where we have had tip top weather (we managed to sit outside the van until 7.30pm last night!) and cold gin and tonics! We are currently in Paihia which is a small tourist town in the bay of islands and are debating wether or not to swim with dolphins.. other than that, we are just chilling out!
We have rebooked our flight to Melbourne (now leave Auckland on 1st Dec) and have scrapped together some sort of plan for the rest of our trip with new dates for our onward flights to Bangkok and Delhi. Thats pretty much it for now folks... Hope to hear some comments from you lazy asses (Not our parents!) so get writing!

love

Pollyali

x

Posted by pollyali 15:39 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (9)

SLOW DOWN!

I'd like to see the road accident figures for this place!

overcast 17 °C

Bit of a change for todays blogathon... Both Pol and I have decided to vent our anger at the quality of driving on this fair nations highways. "what has brought this on?" i hear you ask.. Well, the fact we nearly had a head on collision with a rally driver on state highway 38 this morning merely reminded us that things needed to be said.
THE DRIVERS IN NEW ZEALAND ARE ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!
Scenario one:
A fooking Hick in a black flat bed pick up truck gets us in his sights... The road is windy and the speed limit is 100kmph. EZY campa is doing 98kmph and fast approaching a blind bend in the road. Before we continue, i would like to add that if something is slow moving (i.e, doing under 70kmph) then it is an unwritten rule that it should move in to the side to let faster traffic past. Now, as i wasnt going slow, i didnt feel the need to let this mentally challenged idiot past me. However, he felt differently, approached at speed and flashed me several times, an indication, i thought, that he wanted past. As there was nowhere to pull over, i continued regardless until i saw the guys face in my wingmirror! (Yes, you guessed it, contestant no 1 had a death wish!) i immediately slowed down as i didnt want to die!
Scenario 2: Overtaking into oncoming traffic: (Nuff said... i was the on coming traffic)
Now thats done, i will tell you what we have done over the last couple of days.
Went to the Honey hive in Taupo... not recommended.. merely a shop that sold inconceivable amounts of honey and bee related tatt. Pol and I overdosed on free samples of honey and meade (yuck!) and left feeling rather sick.
Had a pleasant walk along the banks of hukka falls (not a waterfall but intense rapids that are generated to supply the local power stations with what they need.)
Have bathed in numerous hot springs.. we even found a campsite called Waikite valley.. 14 dollars each to camp. No check out time and the price included unlimited use of the hot baths! KErching!
Moved on to Rotorua yesterday. Nice place but smells like Pol after christmas dinner. :-) lots of sulphorous gas and the usual mingling of shops and cafes, nothing unique really! Have booked into the Base Hostel for a night as we are due a free bed (due to the length of our stay in Christchurch)

ali.JPG

waiotapu thermal valley... nearly forgot about this one! Not cheap ($25 dollars - about 9 pounds) which is cheap but not for us crusty world travellers! Needless to say, the place consisted of loads of oozing and squelching pools of mud and water.

Very, very..s!!!!!).JPG

Polly lost..otorua).JPG

The smell of which is quite indescribable. stink bombs and fart spray is the best we could come up with! got some nice piccies but as we are lazy and cant afford the internet time to upload them all, you will have to wait.
Right, we are off to find some cleansing lotion for Pols acne outbreak and to chill...

BYEEE

Pollyali

Mammap: Since when you been busting some grooves and living in the ghetto girlfriend?!?
MammaA: When do you leave for Italy?

xxx

Posted by pollyali 15:07 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

To the North Monkeys

North island here we come

semi-overcast 18 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Right, time for you land lubbers to be updated on our quest for world domination.
Hanmer springs was the last entry so ill try and speed you all through what we have done in the last few days.
We departed Hamnner on the 27th and drove through the rain to a place called Nelson in the North of the South Island. The drive took us about four hours and when we got to our destination, the sun came out and it all looked rather nice again! We found a campsite quite close to the town centre and after taking some advice, we set off to look for somewhere to celebrate my oldness!after muc umming and arring we settled on a thai restaurant called the Golden Orchid (or something golden.. maybe Bell!) anyway, i wont bore you with what we ate but it was nice, the place was a little busy so the service wasnt great but hey, we are on holiday! Back to the campsite and Pol had bought me a choccy cake so we scoffed most of that and went to bed full and content! We have since turned our back on Chocolate and havent eaten any in nearly a week! (wow i hear you all say!) Saturday took us East to a small town called Blenheim, Small being the operative word as when we got there around three pm.. all the shops were closed (And this was on a saturday!) this led us to think we wanted to leave the primitive south island and head to the sun and intelligence of the North! We therefore called our van hire company who booked us on the South to North Ferry leaving at ten.. BONUS no 1: When we took the van, we were told that EZY would pay for the Ferry for the van only and it would cost us $60 each... when i arrived at the Ferry terminal, the man told me that our fees had been paid by EZY too! What a bonus.. kerching.
Pol slept on the Ferry while i entertained myself with Dead Men Dont Wear Plaid (Steve Martin film from the 1980's - Matt S) and by the various random comments coming from a very tall cross dresser sat in the corner of the lounge!
our first views of Wellington were pretty much the same as our first views of everywhere in New Zealand, through rain lashed windows.. however, when we went out to explore the city the next day, it was rather nice (albeit, rather wet) We met our Swedish friends in the Te Papa musuem and spent an enjoyable three hours wandering around the various exhibits and pressing buttons etc... highly recommend it if anyone decides to go there. Mooched around the shops all afternoon and went to bed early.. (very exciting i know!)
We then decided to drive up to the Tongariro National park and do some walking for a couple of days to save some money. It was spectacular! the Volcano was snow capped and as the ski season had just ended, all the mountains still had a touch of the white stuff... needless to say we went for a walk in it..(how bizarre!)
Walked to the emerald lakes yesterday (about 13km) and lazed around after as felt a tad tender... We are now in a place called Taupo waiting for our washing (which cost $6 each load and the machines dont even have a hot wash....grrrrrrrrr)
Thats all for now peeeps...

Pollyali

xx

Posted by pollyali 16:44 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

Oh Milford, Oh Milford

What a sight

sunny 21 °C
View Round t' World on pollyali's travel map.

Been a few days so we shall tell all about our journey to the wilderness that is Milford Sound.
The cruise was absolutely spectacular and something that we would highly recommend to anyone. We departed the port around half four and ventured out onto the water where we were greeted by some of the most amazing scenery i have ever seen. The mountains rose out of the water itself and peaked in the clouds far above our heads. As there had been substantial rain fall in the previous couple of days, the waterfalls that we had been told about were all too visible and made the scenery even more wonderful. We steamed out to the Tasman sea and dropped anchor in Anita's bay where we jumped into Kayaks and splashed around for an hour while a guide pointed out some of the interesting areas in the bay. After numerous sandfly bites we jumped back on the Wanderer and were treated to a roast pork dinner and some fine wine!

Milford Sound 2.JPG

The evening was spent playing Monopoly and after a a cosy nights sleep we were awoken to the smell of fried bacon! As we munched our breakfast the Captain announced that he had seen some dolphins playing by the front of the boat and i have never seen people move so fast in my life. All of a sudden, all 33 people were crammed in the front of the ship gawping at a pod of 6 dolphins which including an ickle baby one! queue more äwws and wows!Unfortuatley our camera takes 3 seconds to take a picture so we didn't manage to snap the happy moment.

Milford Sound.JPG

A couple of minutes after seeing the dolphins we saw another set of creatures, in total 11 yellow eyed pengiuns were coming out amongst the rocks and into the sea. The yellow eyed penguins are the second rarest penguins in the world with only 2000 pairs alive in the wild, so we were really lucky to see so many of them!
The trip ended with the usual practice of any tourist operation, the veiwing of the photos you had taken as you were boarding the boat. We did not purchase the set at $35 as it had been a couple of days since we had hda a shower so we were some what greasy in the pictures, not something you parents would have been proud to have mounted on your walls!

It's big Al's birthday today so we are going to indulge in some hot springs and a game of a-maze-n-golf.

xxx

Posted by pollyali 15:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (6)

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