January 22-31, 2018
Back in Auckland for the 3rd time to catch the Stray Bus and begin touring the interior and southern portion of the North Island.
We went to:
Hahei – I’ve already been here when I went to the Coromandel Peninsula a few weeks ago AKA Hot Water Beach, Cathedral Cove.
Raglan – Beautiful little surf town with wonderful vibes and black sand beaches. I really wish I could’ve planned to stay here longer! I took a surf lesson and proved that being able to snowboard and surf on a wave simulator in no way translates into being able to surf in the ocean (no pics due to extreme concentration and falling all over in the ocean, sry).
Raglan City Centre
Rotorua – The geothermal capital of NZ. I didn’t actually go to the hot springs, but I did go white water rafting in a surprisingly warm river due to the geothermal activity! 20 ish degrees Celsius!
Lake Aniwhenua – Had a cultural Maori experience and loved every second!
Stone carvings dating back to approx 1050AD
It’s hard to explain, but this food is called Hangi. It is literally cooked in the ground using hot rocks + wet blankets and covering it all in dirt to create steam and cook the food. This is a bunch of veggies but there was chicken and pork cooked to perfection as well!
Thermal River! Don’t remember the name and don’t remember what day this was? But it was hot af.
Blue Duck Station – Possibly my favourite stop. Basically a nature reserve/farm. They have all kinds of animals and activities but their main focus is preserving the rainforest and proliferating the endangered Blue Duck population in NZ. If you know me, you know I can’t get enough of that kinda thing. I spent my 24th birthday here and couldn’t have asked for a better day.
This is what 24 year old me looks like, still a dork. Horseback riding through the rolling hills of the farm
Kayaking/floating down the Whanganui River and doing some minor cliff jumping (it was way higher than this looks, I swear)
Tongariro Alpine Crossing – The most beautiful and rewarding hike I’ve done. So far.
Mount Doom IRL
Wellington – I didn’t explore very much due to extreme exhaustion (dramatiiiic) from the 20k hike two days prior. But! I went to Zealandia to listen to the birds, went to the museum, and read my book at a cafe in Kelburn Village. Plus, Wellington is the “windy city” of NZ, which reminded me of home! Lovely experience.
NZ was absolutely wonderful, saw/did more beautiful things than I can count and met some life changing people. But, time to move on. The next adventure awaits.
XO – Kristiane