Trip Start May 18, 2004
Trip End Jul 08, 2013

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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

On May 17, I moved from Sydney to Auckland. The reason why I went to Auckland was I had to get out of Australia, because of my visa expiration, and Auckland was relatively closer to Sydney than any other big cities. While I was staying in New Zealand, I spend about one month in Auckland and the rest in Bay of Islands (Paihia, Kerikeri, Russel), Rotorua, Torianga, Wellington, Christchurch, Kaikoura, Whangarei, and Coromandel (Thames and Whitianga). In Tongariro National Park, I tried Tongariro Crossing, although it was snowy. I stayed in a lodge in National Park villege and rent gears in YHA hostel, which was not my hostel, but the base of the trekking. I tried it on my own, but it was a bad idea. Honestly, I risked my life on a snowy cliff in the mountain, although I was saved by other trekkers' advise. However, except that experience, I enjyoued trekking there and enjoyed bathing in the hot bath of my hostel.

There was large rugby league maches held in New Zealand, so I had to move to avoid the crowd from international rugby fans. Particularly, while I was in Christchurch, I couldn't find a hostel available because of the rugby fans and I had to move to Kaikoura, where I was frightened by a seal. At the YMCA in Christchurch, I got news from my family that they came to Auckland. So I flew back to Auckland quickly and spent 4 days with them. In Auckland, we visited Mt. Eden and Rangitoto island, but we were not satisfied with them, especially Rangitoto island. We walked along the long way to the beach, but it was not worth visiting. We are scheduled to stay in Aspen House B&B in Auckland, but we changed our plan and headed for Rotorua by bus on the night.

It was the second time for me to visit Rotorua, but I really enjoyed the smelly city with my family again. We stayed in a beautiful and reasonable B&B, Eaton Hall Guest House , which was the first and last time to stay in B&B in my life. The tourist information centre was very useful with a lot of brochures, kind staff, and bus ports just in front. My brother and mom were fully satisfied with exciting scenary with lava, boiling mud, geysers, and hot pool. Especially, Champagne Pool and Lady Knox Geyser in Wai-O-Tapu were excellent. Wakarewarewa, Te Whakarewarewatangaoteopetauaawahiao, was also a good attraction, where we could see a traditional carving factory, mud pools, Maori houses, kiwi birds and so on. Hell's Gate was similar, but it had a mud bath. I also liked Rainbow Springs & Farm, where we could see a full of trout, some birds and a fun sheep show. In the morning, we visited Lake Rotorua, which was beautiful with a unique Maori Church. Everything was great in Rotorua.

After my family left Auckland, I went back to Nomads Fat Camel backpackers and met Jon from Basque country. He is nice and friendly and we made friends soon. He was thinking of a travel around Southeast Asia just as I was. So I made an appointment to see him again in a guesthouse in Kuala Lumpur and left Auckland by the Malaysia airlines on August 4th.
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