So sorry that we have not written sooner, but we have been on a whirl wind tour of the North Island of New Nealand. It has been an amazing adventure and New Zealand is wonderful! We rolled into Auckland, NZ around 8am after a 4am flight from Fiji. Needless to say we were pooped, but still managed to roll out of our dorm beds to watch the Sea Hawks play in the Super Bowl. As you all know Conor was slightly disappointed, but his rants at the screen entertained the Kiwi's. We met up with our lovely friend Anna we met in Fiji, but unfortunitly we were still on Fiji time (one hour earlier) so we were totally late! We tracked her down and bought her some beers to apologize--Sorry again Anna! We got our rental car the next morning a cute Nissan Micra, and we were mobile! We decided to drive up to the northern tip of NZ, everyone we met said it was amazing...and it was. We headed up to the 90 Mile beach and caught the sun set perfectly, and the beach was so huge and deserted
. We were amazed that there were no houses or any development on a 90 mile stretch of beach! We camped out by the ocean and were awaken with the mooing of a few cows, we slept right by a cow field (the cows get great views in NZ). We drove to the Giant Sand Dunes and they were huge, so we knew we just had to climb them and ride down them on a Boggey Board going about 80K. The Dunes butted right up to the forest, it was an amazing thing. We jumped back into our little Micra and we pointed her towards the Bay Of Islands. We arrived and stayed at a cute little backpackers right by the beach, and woke up early to ride a huge catamaran to see the Islands and the dolphins. The dolphins did not disappoint and they played by the boat and danced all around in the ocean. They were jumping and splashing and there was even a little baby! We snorkeled off the boat and hiked up to a great 360 view, then they grilled up some sausages on the deck and were off for a lazy sail around the Bay. We headed off to a camp sight right on the beach, and on the way ran into Cooper Beach! We had to stop and get some pics of the signs, and it made me miss my little nephew Cooper...I love you Coop!! We had a cool full moon that night camping and baby ducks come visit in the morning. We then set off to Waitomo the land of the glow worms and the caving. We decided to go the adventurous route and do a wet suit tube ride through the caves and see the glow worms up close. It was really fun! We jumped backwards off waterfalls, explored the caves, and rode down underground cave streams in the pitch black
. The glow worms really glowed, I guess it is there poop that glows..will wonders never cease! had to get back on the road because so much more lied ahead, so we navigated the windy roads to Rotorua and camped (eventually) at a Holiday park right out side of town. The Thermal springs in Rotorua proved to be very stinky (like bad eggs in steam bath kind of thing), but we held our noses and enjoyed to the natural wonder. The colors were great and the bubbling water was crazy, but the coolest was the lime green pond. Then we took a dip at the Thermal Baths, and the mineral water was so exilerating. My skin felt like a million bucks. We headed off with steam pillars rising all around us on the drive, and road down the Thermal express way towards Taupo. Decided to treat our selves to a mini cabin at the Kiwi Holiday Park, and we ran into the cutest group of Elderly travelers. They all belonged to this club of people with Lillyputt campers and traveled all over NZ together. They helped Conor cook our dinner and left us tour their Lillyputts...Kari you would have loved them! Got a good nights sleep for our big day.....Skydiving!! Sorry Mom but Conor and I jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet and it was soooooooooooooooooooo cool! It was one of the greatest things I have ever done, and we jumped right over Lake Taupo with a view of the mountains and beaches below. I would do it again in a hear beat! We go some great pics right before we jumped out I will download later. I have to run, but we will updated again soon. We took the ferry over to the South Island today and are headed out for more adventures and camping. We miss you all!
Molly and Conor