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Roon the Globe Nadia's trip around the world in 365 days :)

Kiaora New Zealand..it's been a pleasure!

NEW ZEALAND | Friday, 10 June 2011 | Views [752] | Comments [1]

I'm on my flight to Fiji and thought i would make use of the 3 hour flight to update you on my last few days in New Zealand.

After the only negative part of my time here in Tauranga, i made the best decision ever to head up the Coromandel Peninsula to Whitianga. This is just to the East of Auckland and only about 3.5 hours drive away so it was ideal to finish off the trip in yet another beautiful beach town.

It was a bit of a winding road heading up there, as we drove through rainforests and around mountains but when i finally arrived in the small town of Whitianga it was about 5pm and already getting dark. The hostel i was staying in was perfect in every way, big comfortable mattresses and an en suite bathroom in the room - it was all new looking and completely spotless. I deserved it after the last place!! The only negative was the Kiwi Experience tour bus also stopped there every night so it wasn't as chilled as i would have liked it to be. If you haven't travelled over here, it's basically an 18-30 tour bus around the country, great fun if you're just up for getting drunk every night and want to meet people and never want peace & quiet (when i say people, it's mainly folk from Britain as i met the first 2 Scottish travellers when i was there!). For people wondering why i didn't do this tour, i don't think it allows you to see things off the beaten track and plan your own journey like i have managed by travelling on the local intercity buses. I also can't be arsed with 18 year olds getting pissed everynight, throwing up in dorms and spending the whole time hungover and not able to do anything during the day. I must be getting old eh? It is each to their own i suppose! I actually met a couple of nice girls in the rooms so i don't want to completely stereotype them but most backpackers not travelling on the big green bus will normally run a mile when they see it coming hahaha.

Anyway enough about that, more about the country. I had really wanted to go to Hot Water Beach which is one of the main sites to visit, but little did i realise it was far too far to walk there from the town and you need a car. If i ever travel here again i will do it by car, no question! However i made do with an amazing cliff walk which took about 2 hours all in, not too hard going. I had to get a wee passenger ferry across the estuary which took all of 5 minutes and then started heading along the coast, passing the most beautiful beach on the way called Cook's Bay. The sea looked so blue because the sun was out and there were lots of wee islands in the distance, it actually reminded me so much of Krabi in Thailand and they apparently filmed a bit of the Narnia - Prince Caspian film up there. The tide was still going out so i had to go back onto the road to get onto the walking track up to Shakespeare's Cliff. It was quite a steep hike but so worth it when i got to the top..there was no-one else there and it had to be the most peaceful place i have been just looking out at the sea. The views looked out over Mercury Bay to the left, which was named by Captain Cook when he landed in the late 1800's and out to the right was Lonely Bay, which i didn't walk down to but looked absolutely beautiful. As i headed back down the tide had gone out a little more so i could walk along the sand, by this point the temptation to dip my toes in was too much so i ended up with my shoes off..it wasn't too cold but i certainly wouldn't have went for a swim!

I headed back to the ferry and across to Whitianga and decided to take a stroll along the beach there. There were so many seashells it was unbelievable, mountains of them just piled on the beach. I managed to take a couple..lets hope i don't have to declare them in customs like my dad did with his piece of wood from Australia hahaha. I munched my picnic looking out to sea and decided it was just about ice cream o'clock so i managed to find a wee place just off the beach. One of the best i've had and it was only 1.50 (pounds) for 2 massive scoops..i was well impressed! I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around the wee town and bought some more beads for my bracelets. Later on a took a walk alongside the estuary which was really nice as the sun was starting to set. Some of the houses around there were amazing, so massive with the nicest views! All in all it has to be one of the most beautiful places i visited in the North Island, it must be 100 times better in Summer i imagine.

I was quite upset to leave Whitianga as reality set in that i couldn't stay in New Zealand forever and i had seen the best it had to offer. I wasn't too excited about Auckland as no-one i've spoken to has recommended anything, other than going up the Skytower which is the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere apparently. I arrived about lunchtime in Auckland and although i had to walk 15 minutes to get to it, i had booked another belter of a hostel. Well when i say belter, it was clean and had a comfy bed. I headed out to the city right away as i only had 1.5 days there and i wanted to at least give it a chance :) it was so weird being in a bigger city after being in such small towns, and there was even a motorway!

I was out on the hunt for a new bikini, i only have two and one has been with me since the beginning of my trip so safe to say it's well needed. Unfortunately since it's coming into their Winter, i could only find one shop with swimwear, and it was about $200 for a bikini..no thanks. Maybe i'll get a new one in Fiji. After a wander round the shops i just headed back to the hostel and had a pretty chilled evening. The hostel was kind of in the middle of nowhere so i struggled to even find a shop nevermind a supermarket, so it was noodles for dinner unfortunately. The next day i decided to head to the Auckland Museum as i hadn't yet seen any Maori performances and they had one showing every day. I'm so glad i decided to do this, as i had to miss out in Rotorua cos it was about $90 for a dinner and show and i wasn't too bothered about the meal. I'm glad i waited as i got to see the show for $20 and access to the museum so it was a nice wee afternoon. The show was mainly dancing and singing and they showed us some traditional weapons and items they used to train and strengthen themselves back in the days when they hunted. The last song was the Haka, which most people know of as the routine than the All Blacks do before they play a game to psyche themselves up, this one was very powerful and loud even though there were only 3 men and 4 women! I couldn't have left the country without seeing this!

I was quite glad to leave Auckland this morning as it was really wet and cloudy (it always is apparently) and it felt like flying out of Glasgow taking about 20 mins to get through the clouds! I'm now very excited about arriving in Fiji for some much needed beach relaxation and island hopping after lugging my beast of a backpack around every 2 days. It's also only 9 days til i fly to LA for my last stop and just over 4 weeks til i'm home now so the time is ticking down towards the end of my trip..i'm so excited that i'm going to see all my family and friends again so soon and unlike most backpackers i'm not going to dread coming home one bit :)

Tags: auckland, north island, whitianga




We're so excited at the thought of seeing you too.

  Auntie Claire Jun 18, 2011 1:29 AM



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