Trip Start Feb 17, 2005
Trip End Feb 27, 2006

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Flag of New Zealand  ,
Thursday, March 17, 2005

Strangely, the last couple of days have been a little bit uneventful! I suppose things had to slow down sooner or later, and my time in Napier has been a relaxing affair as I divided my time between wandering around the town and chilling out at the hostel.

My first impressions of Napier weren't too great, as I arrived on a damp evening. Once again, it is reminiscent of an old English seaside resort but I was disappointed to see that the beach was a mixture of black sand and pebbles. Still, my opinions changed a little the next day when the sun made a brief appearance, and I went for a stroll along the sea fronts. There were some nice souvenir shops and some good cafes around the town centre, but this was not a place that I envisaged settling down in.

So, after toying with the idea of hiring a car in Gisborne and travelling around the East Cape, I eventually decided on a new plan. The weather forecast for the East Coast for the next few days was terrible, and so I am going to head to Taupo shortly where I hope to resist the temptation of jumping out of another plane (it is the cheapest in New Zealand!)! A quick glance at my bank balance yesterday indicated that I need to start slowing down my spending and so Burger Kings, as well as skydiving/bungy jumping, are off the agenda...for now!

So I will spend 2 or 3 days in Taupo and hopefully do a nice walk to the Huka Falls, before I head to Mount Maunganui where I hope to settle for a good 6-8 weeks and find myself a job. By all accounts, it is fairly easy to get fruit packing jobs come the first week in April and so I should be fine. The place itself is supposed to be stunning with the Mount overlooking the town, which is complete with golden sandy beaches. I've been speaking to a guy from California who was staying in my hostel room, and he only had positive things to say about it and recommended a cool hostel to stay in.

I'm looking forward to settling down now. I have been in New Zealand almost a month now and I have already nearly completed a round trip of the North Island! I am glad that I have done it though as it has given me a feel for the various towns and cities within it. I really liked Wellington and maybe I will return there for an extended period at some point, and I will definitely be going to Paihia again just before my plane departs from Auckland.

But for now it is onto Taupo and its magnificent Lake, and within a couple of days I'll be in Mount Maunganui for the golden beaches (oh yeah, and to do some work!)...
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