Cows, cows, and more cows...

Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End Mar 26, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Monday, February 15, 2010

After very reluctantly leaving Fiji we arrived in Auckland with no hassle and picked up our hire car....if you can even
call it a car?! this thing is about half the size of me, surely this must be some sort of joke of a car? nope,
the lady at the rental place confirmed it was indeed our car for the next 6 days...brilliant. So we set off in our toy
car and headed to our accom in one of Auckland's lovely suburbs, Parnell. We weren't up for much exploring so we had an early
night and set off the next morning for the Bay of Islands up north. We stayed in a lovely little backpackers on the beachfront
called Cap'n Bobs, where we were fortunate enough to have a chat with the Cap'n himself (who was scottish) over a bottle of
red wine or two. Dave braai'd us some steaks on the bbq and we whiled away the evening chatting to Cap'n and another elderly
couple from England..(at this point dave and i were worrying that the only people we were relating to so far were all over the age of 60).

That afternoon, we decided to take a jet boat around the islands and to the famous "hole in the wall", this boat was insane,
it reached top speeds of about 120km/hr!! so we whisked through the islands, tears streaming from our eyes from the "g force"
we got a glimpse of the stunning islands. We were taken through the hole in the wall and explored one of its caves which
as pretty cool, the colour of the sea is amazing there as well, like completely blue you can see the fish swimming past you!
Really stunning little place!

The next day we set off for our next stop on the map, Rotorua. We stopped off half way back in Auckland to take in some of
the only took us an hour or so to see what there was to see (not much, a tower, a harbour...and thats about it).
We also stopped off at one of Auckland's many volcano cones on our way out, did you know that Auckland is set amongst 50
volcanoes of which some are still active??! eeekk!

Anyway we carried on through the very green and cow ridden fields of NZ until we reached Rotorua...and shoo, we could smell
we were there before we even saw the sign! Rotorua is set amongst a thermal field, so it reeks of sulphur, you cant escape it!
We checked in to our very smelly backpackers and headed off to the Polynesian Spa to go and sit in the thermal pools. Very cool
setting right on the lake of Rotorua, the hottest rock pool we sat in was 42 degrees! We were having a great time until we
noticed that we were mostly bathing in other people floating dead skin cells, EEWWW EEEWWW EEEWWW!!!! yep, so that was the
end of that.

Following day we headed out of smelly-ville, only to stop a few km down the road to visit a thermal spring park, where we
watched the most disappointing geyser blow its load 20m into the sky, not so exciting, and very smelly. We then took a very quick
stroll around the park yawning at the bubbling water craters that smelt worse than daves farts.

Carrying on down the road we stopped off at Lake Taupo for lunch, after the boredom of Rotorua we decided to go white water
jet boating on NZ's longest river, the Waikato. It was AWESOME!! this tiny little boat zoots you along the river only
to stop abruptly and do a 360!!! not to mention ramping the rapids on the river and then turning around and going back
up the rapid!! INSANE!! and so so much fun, although i think the other people on the boat were laughing more at me yelping
on every turn rather than the boat! Photos below should give you an idea! DC - OMG Lucy was so embarrassing, screaming like
a little girl on a roller coaster! One of the guys came up to us afterwards and told us that her yelps we brilliant and worth
the jet boat fee on their own!!

We then continued through to our destination for the evening, Napier in the Hawkes Bay wine region. We spotted a recommended
winery on the way in so stopped for a quick tasting. 8 wines later and with a bottle in hand we were on our way to our hostel.
We had planned to spend two nights in Napier so that we could go on a wine tour and get stuck in without having to worry about
driving, but we had only booked the first night and our bad luck with timing and accommodation continued! It turned out that we
had decided to stay in Napier on the weekend of the Mission concert, Napier's busiest time of the year, so everywhere was
fully booked. Typical. A quick revision of the itinerary had us self driving our wine tour on the way to Wellington where we
 would leave our toy car and get on the ferry to Picton on the south Island the following day.

We are on the ferry now having left a very very windy Wellington behind us. Lucy has gone a curious shade of green and I
think she is regretting her decision to not take a seasickness tablet! She is probably regretting scoffing the Macaroni
cheese as soon as we got on board too! I have given her a sick bag and moved away slightly just in case she blows chunks,
because the way she looks I think it will be way more impressive than the geyser we saw near Rotorua!

We are over the Cook straight now and I can see the south Island and the Marlborough sounds ahead of us looking a lot
 calmer and sunnier, so if Lucy wakes up I think she will be very happy!
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Chinner on

Still snowing here so you're in the right place. Another comeback for boys on Saturday having been 1-0 down til the last 10 mins. Lambert is becoming infamous for last minute attacking substitutions and getting results on the back of them - more than can be said for the rugby last weekend!! Have fun and speak soon.

Lauren on

You guys don't look brown anymore... just dirty!

Justin (geezer) on

David it is so nice too see you looking so well!!! Luc Stunning as always.
You will be pleased to know that your cushions, leather chair,water jug and TV are all still in one piece.
Look forward to cating up soon.

hoodie on

dissapointing amount of bovine information and photography in this blog given the title of the entry.

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