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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 226: Back to Auckland

NEW ZEALAND | Wednesday, 18 June 2008 | Views [307]

Mum & Dad at Hokianga Harbour

Mum & Dad at Hokianga Harbour

Wednesday 18th June

We had a long drive ahead of us, at least Mum & Dad had to travel from the Northlands to Auckland, drop me off there, and then continue onwards to Rotorua, a few hours extra drive south again. It was going to be a very long day for them, so we got packed up and set off shortly after 09.00. The day was overcast again but thankfully there was little in the way of rain, although there were a few ominous clouds in the sky.

We took a route across the peninsula that would take us to a road along the west coast highway and then south towards Auckland. Again, some of the scenery was awesome. The first place we stopped at was Hokianga Harbour which serves as a natural inlet from the sea. Across the mouth of this inlet was what looked like a huge yellow sand dune. We had never seen anything like it before but, because it was so big, I didn't think it was possible for it to be a dune. We figured out that it might have been made up of sandstone. No matter what it was made of, it was a beautiful and impressive sight.

We continued on and along some very windy roads on what is popularly called the 'Kauri Coast', named after the huge kauri trees that are native to this area. We stopped at one forest to take a look at 'Tane Mahuta', a massive tree that is dated at 1,200 years old. It was another very impressive sight. After this brief detour we had a picnic lunch and then it was back on the road again for a straight drive down to Auckland.

As the day was much better than the one on which we had travelled north a few days before, the route didn't look in anyway familiar. We arrived into Auckland about 16.30 and we said our goodbyes once again. Mum & Dad headed off and left me to myself once again, and they drove off together to continue their own New Zealand journey. It was sad to see them go again.

I hadn't booked a hostel. In fact, I hadn't really planned much except for booking my bus pass around NZ. I called into the office of Magic Bus, the crowd who were to take me around both the North and South Islands. I told them what kind of hostel I was loooking for and they booked me into the 'Bamber House Hostel' in the Mount Eden district of Auckland. I took a short bus ride out there and found a place that was quite different to what I was used to: an old house that seemed more like something out of boarding school than a doss house for travellers. The manager was called Dawn and she was a friendly and funny Scottish girl and I was pleasantly surprised at the nightly fee of NZ$24 a night, which worked out at just under nine quid, so a lot cheaper than the average in Australia.

Shortly after getting my stuff into my room, I took a trip into town and got some food before going to the IMAX to see 'Shine A Light', the Rolling Stones concert that was directed by Martin Scorcese. It was pretty good, the sound in the theatre was particularly impressive, and it made a difference to hear the Stones play so clearly, instead of my usual position at the back of some huge stadium!

After the movie was over, I made a move back to the hostel and crashed out for the night.


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