NZ - North Island Holiday 18.01.11
After 8 days working on a mine site in mid 40 degree heat it was time to chill things out and head to NZ for a North Island campervan adventure with Aurelie and attend my sister Amanda and Troy’s wedding.
As it was Aurelie’s first time to Aotearoa I thought I better show her around kiwi style by doing some of the more fun and interesting tourist attractions.
After a miserable red eye flight from Perth we landed in Auckland. The weather was wet and windy, when we arrived at our hotel (Skycity) we were told the power was out. Not a good start to the holiday although once we opened the door to our room and saw the bottle of champagne and tower of strawberries covered in chocolate our moods quickly changed. After a very yummy dinner of Peking duck and spending a short time in the casino it was time for a well earned nap.
The next couple of days were spent travelling around the Coromandel visiting some of New Zealand’s best beaches: Cathedral Cove, Hot Water Beach, Whangamata, Mt Maunganui etc.
Once we hit Rotorua it was time for some thrill seeking. Our first stop was the Swoop at Agroventures, a 40m high swing which makes you feel like you’re flying. Second stop was Skyline Rotorua where we raced down various tracks on luge’s. By this point we were ready to relax and soak in a private natural hot spring pool at the Polynesian Spas, rated as one of the top 10 spas in the world!
The next morning we watched the Lady Knox Geyser erupt at Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Park before white water rafting down the Kaituna River. The Kaituna River hosts the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall a 7m vertical drop which we were lucky enough to get to the bottom of without flipping over.
The afternoon was spent shopping for a perfect pounamu for Aurelie, which we found at Mountain Jade before heading to the Tamaki Maori Village. Aurelie’s first Maori cultural experience which included a haka, powhiri and hangi!
Our last major tourist attraction was Waitomo caves where we spent 8 hours caving. Starting off with a 100m abseil into what they call “The Lost World” this was something else a real highlight ;)
Amanda and Troy’s wedding was on the second week of our holiday and what a wonderful day it was. They got lucky with the weather and had an amazing garden wedding out at Gear Homestead in Aotea, followed by reception at the Pines in Houghton Bay with all their family and friends.
The rest of our time was spent looking around Wellington which included a helicopter flight over the harbour and city. I was lucky enough to spend a few extras days at the end without Aurelie catching up with friends at the wild Wellington rugby 7s tournament yet again before flying home.
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