New Plymounth & Mt Taranaki

Trip Start Sep 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, January 24, 2008

Up and packed up our stuff and down the 30km to Picton for the ferry to the North Island. The ferry crossing was hassle free, we were ringed with sadness, however as the famous south island of New Zealand was now in the past sence.,.....
Anyway, back into Wellington and then north to New Plymounth we made it there in good timw. We had hoped to see Mt Taranake in all its glory however, some persistent clouds hampered our efforts and we had to make do with the lower two thirds of the majestic mountain.
The next day we drove back out to Mt Taranaki again as we really wanted to see it, alas we were beaten by a combination of cloud and a lack of time to wait for it to clear so we flaked off again.This time for Waitomo, home of the Waitomo caves. Arrived there, its a real one horse town, the only attraction here is the caves-where we went blackwater rafting and you see glowworms illuminate the pitch black in a star like way. So this was really cool and well worth doing.
We got all decked out in our wet suits and armed with an inflated tube we hit for the caves. It was a superb sight when we saw the glow-worms.They glow like stars-especially when hungry as this helps them attract food i.e. lfies and insects.Along the river we had to negotiate some waterfalls - this was acheived by sitting into the tube and back-diving into the water - a wierd experience, falling backwards into a waterfall, but it was the best fun. At the end of our cave experience we got dried off and then checked out the cave museum. All very good and interesting. In there though, a gruop of young Japanese tourists came up and asked Kieran to take a phot of them. As he did they realised that he was wearing the same silver fern t-shirt as the 8 of them. Well, they really lost their lives with excitment and starting shouting "We have 9, we have 9" and then Kieran wasn't allowed to take the photos instead he had to be in ti!!! hilarious....

Anyway, from here we headed back for Auckland. On the way back up here, we passed so many cops, basically all the cops in New Zealand are in the North Island and mainly in Auckland.
Got back to Auckland safe and sound anyway and met Jim again, so it was just chilling out with him for the night, having a nice dinner and some vino, it was lovely to be back at Jims apartment, we nearly starting calling this place home at this stage. Thanks Jim.

The next day we went into Auckland for another look around - we went for brunch in the Sky Tower if you don't mind! (it actually worked out really cheap as we didn't have to pay the observatory pass then....good call Jim!). This is a revolving restaurant at the top of sky tower, it rotates 360 in one hour and we had a lovely meal here while we looked out over the city of the sails.

That night we went to meet some Kiwi's Orla knows from working in Manchester, Anita and Tahe. We went to the Viaduct area of the city (lots of pubs and restaurants on the harbour) with them. It was a lovely setting and we had a great evening. As it was Auckland day there was a great fireworks display on (one of the best displays we've ever seen) and this created a great atmosphere for our last night in New Zealand.

When we got back to Jim and Rosaries, Rosarie had arrived back from Sydney, so we drank champagne (nice one Jim) to celebrate her return and chatted.

Our last day in New Zealand was taken up with doing a few jobs in the morning and then off to the airport. Jim the sound man drove us over there and then we said our good byes. So before we knew it we were on the flight to Oz...New Zealand, done tick Si claro!!!!!!!
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