Ki Ora, from New Zealand.

Despite your obvious thoughts that i’m reffering to the immense cartoned fruit flavour drink from back in the day (5 Alive and Umbungo also worth a mention), Ki Ora actually means something along the lines of hello and good health in Maori … hello.

So, I’m now in NZ. Wellington to be precise. Spent a few more days in Cairns after my last update, didnt get up to too much however, other than turn 23.  Hhmmm, didnt go too well that. We woke up to find our room flooded and so spent a vast proportion of my birthday changing rooms and washing all our clothes that had been soaked through, fun fun fun!! Then to absolutely take the piss, all the bars were shut that night due to the fact it was good friday so we were all tucked up by 10. HARDCORE!! It wasnt all bad though, in fact far from it. Alexia was a legend and supprised me with cards, a moutain of gifts and a big fat chocolate cake!!  We had fun almost setting off the fire alarm whilst trying to light the candles on my cake but it was worth it!! Thankyou Alexia!

We made up for not drinking that night by going ou the next with everyone from the OZ bus who was in town. By the end of the night only Alexia, myself and Adam were still standing … although how Adam was standing is up for debate. By the time we had decided he needed to go home he was convinced that he could lead us there no problems ? ‘its just left here, then the next left’ ? trouble is that would have lead us into the ocean, his hostel was a good 10 minute taxi away, legend. I awoke the next morning to a jager induced hangover which stuck with me for the next two days.

On the moday, at stupid oclock in the morning, i flew from Cairns to Auckland, Alexia joined me sometime later in the afternoon. That night we saw 300 at the Imax ,highly recommended! IN Auckland we also visited the planitarium and saw Saturn through a telescope, went to an ice bar, visited the island of Waiheke, went to another comedy night and jumped on the Kiwi Experience bus for a free tour of Auckland which was top notch.

Kiwi Experience bus

Our not so reliable Kiwi Experience bus

We then sined up to tour the rest of the country with the Kiwi Experience and first headed north … here’s how things have gone so far …

PAIHIA AND CAPE REIGNA

We went for only a few nights, but in that time took a speed boat around the beautiful islands, visited NZ’s most notherly point, drove down 90 mile beach and par took in some social drinks with a friendly bunch of south Africans.

MERCURY BAY (via Auckland)

Driven by our cool Kiwi bus driver Scotty to the top of Mt Eden in Auckland for dsome 360 views and then taken to a stunning little beach, via a nature walk, called Cathedral Cove.

ROTORUA

Visited the Karangahake scenic reserve, walking over and around its gorge, over its dodgey looking swing bridges and through its caves which were formerly used for gold mining. We then visited a working gold mine which pumps out $50 million a week! We then stopped for lunch in Hobbiton before visiting a Maori village in the evening for a feast and to learn a bit about their culture and watch some of their dance moves. This villages version of the Haka was amazing, the moves, expressions and use of props was almost unbelievable.

Hobbiton

Hobbiton

WAITOMO

Waitomo is situated on top of a techtonic plate system and so smells a lot of sulpher. Here we visited the geysers and mud baths which release the gas, and then we went underground into the cold and wet to try our hand at black water rafting. Like I said it was cold and wet, as we clambered through tiny gaps, past little beasties and of course the glow worms. I thought glow worms looked rather asthetically pleasing as a creature .. turns out that really the nice lights are actually the poo of a canabolistic worm that it trying to attract moths so it can eat them too, greedy b*****. Black water rafting was a bit like pot holing combined with a lazy river, awesome way to spend 3 hours!!

TAUPO

On our way to Taupo Scotty took us on another one of his little walks, this time through the Ruakuri caves. Then (questionably) he took us to watch rabbit shearing … didnt know there was such a thing. Once in Taupo i went to watch Alexia and a few of the others Sky Dive over the lake. They all loved it and the videos look amazing. The next day we thought getting up at 5am to do a 7 hour trek over the Tongariro Crossing and Mt Doom would be a good idea … turns out … not so much!! 5am is early! It was cold!! And we’d forgot to take any food!!! That trek was one of the hardest things ever, but he views from the top were stunning, the emerald lakes looked amazing and the volcanic craters were just vast.

Tongariro Crossing

Me looking shattered on The Tongariro Crossing

Tongariro Crossing

The views whilst crossing The Tongariro Crossing

RIVER VALLEY

In river valley we went white water rafting which was insane!! Grade 6 is the highest and were were rafting on 4-5. Yes we did manage to capsize and get very wet, but that wasnt my fault. Quite scary actually, as we tipped over i cheeked a boulder before going under and almost surfacing under the raft, i didnt quite surface and instead took in a mouth full of tasty river water, mmmmm yummy! We were all fine, only with the addition of a few new bumps and bruises. The only downer to the time we spent in RV was when we got the news that Matt from one of our earlier Kiwi buses had been kiddnapped the previous night, but luckily managed to escape ? scary stuff!

… Thats it in a nut shell (kind of). I shall let you know how the south island goes.

Adios!

P.S. Well done sis with the marathon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Proceed to NEW ZEALAND PART 2
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