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Trip Start Jun 15, 2011
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Jucy Hotel, Auckland

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Our next big adventure is a trip over to New Zealand, somewhere we haven't heard a single negative thing about from anyone and have been very very excited to visit. 

 We arrived into Auckland full of optimism having seen the incredible scenery from the plane as we came in to land. The promises of beautiful scenery along with some bright blue skies got us all excited about being at the start of our adventure, which is so different to anything we have done before and certainly very different to Asia.

 Having caught a bus into the centre of town from the airport, we checked into our backpackers hotel and then immediately went out to get some food and explore Auckland to make the most of the little time we have here. Auckland is so clean and green and has a pretty good vibe to it, although it's certainly a much slower pace than Sydney with hardly any people around. I guess that a few months ago it would have been completely different when everyone was over for the World Cup. As you walk around the city you can see the remains of all of the World cup promotional signs, and clearly everyone is very proud of their All Blacks. Everywhere you go you see all black flags flying from houses, cars and offices.

 We headed for the Viaduct harbour where we had some dinner and our first taste of New Zealand beer, overlooking the water as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful evening and the harbour looked amazing. The boats in the harbour are incredible, absolutely enormous and worth a fortune. Most of them had leather lounge suites, wide screen TV's and several satellites on top. 

 The next morning we packed up, had an awesome breakfast in a nearby cafe and then picked up our Campervan from the depot. We chose to go with a company who have artists spray-paint their vans with all sorts of Jazzy designs, from famous figures to landscapes to Winnie the Pooh. Weirdly, the guy booking us in was from Lutterworth and got all excited when he saw that I was from Rugby which is just a few miles down the road. This held us in good stead because he gave us a discount just for being from his neck of the woods... the first time being from Rugby has been financially rewarding. 

 He took our details and said that he had seen our van design requests (all of which were landscapes) but that none of those options were available so he had selected the Egyptian Sphinx option because the pyramids look a bit like mountains, and therefore similar to what we wanted. This was not at all what Katy had wanted and after quite a while of 'negotiations' she managed to persuade the guy to change to a flowery design. Initially I thought that sounded a bit effeminate but I have grown to love those Hibiscus flowers, especially as the van is a newer model and is automatic. My main aim was not to get 'Winnie the pooh', so all in all I'm happy too.

So we have a van, time to explore beautiful New Zealand. First up is the beachy North!
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