We've had a lovely week in the North Island. It was Laura's birthday on Monday so we decided to go on a wine tour!! It was great fun and we were taught how to drink wine properly, not just "scull it back" as the lady said!
Luckily we stopped off for lunch (where we had a massive portion of fish and chips!) otherwise I think we may have all be slightly worse for wear at the end of the five hours!
On Tuesday we got the ferry over to Wellington. This crossing is well known for being a bumpy one (they apparently still sail with up to a 10 metre swell!), but luckily the weather wasn't too bad that day so it was fairly smooth. We arrived in the afternoon and had a wander round and Em and I went to the free bits of the museum which was cool. In the evening we went bowling which was a good laugh! We left Wellington on Wednesday morning and drove to Rotorua. BUT on the way, Em and I did a Tandem Bungy Jump over Lake Taupo!!!! I was terrified, didn't think we’d actually be able to jump off, but it was sooooo much fun!! We bought the video, so you can have a good laugh at us when I get back! We also saw Mount Doom (from Lord of the Rings) through the clouds on the way. We spent Wednesday night at a traditional Maori Marae which was really cool. We talked to two guys, Nic and Tuck, who are from Maori Tribes and learnt a bit about the traditions and culture of the Maori people which was so interesting. We played poker in the evening which was fun. We all slept in one big room (the Marae) that night which is the equivalent of our Church. It was freezing and one guy in our group was THE loudest snorer ever...so we didn’t get much sleep that night!! While there we were allowed to take photos but were asked not to put these up on the internet, as the tribe don’t want photos of their home all over the internet, (which is understandable!) so haven’t put any from that evening up.
We spent Thursday night in Rotorua as well, but the next place had outdoor hot tubs!!! We were especially grateful for these when we arrived back from white water rafting as it was FREEZING!! The rafting was wicked, so so much fun!! We went down the highest commercially rafted waterfall – 7 metres!! Our boat nearly capsized and pretty much everyone hurt some part of their body...but it was well worth it!!! Before rafting we also visited The Whakarewarewa Thermal Village which was great. They put on a performance of Maori dancing and singing, and did the Haka which was so cool!
We arrived in Auckland on Friday and had to say goodbye to two girls who were finishing their tour which was sad and then about 20 new people joined. We drove to the Bay of Islands where we stayed for two nights. We managed to get a room for all five of us (who have all been on the trip for 15 days) which was great fun. The weather was awful. Boat trips were cancelled due to the 70+ knot winds and it rained the whole time we were there. The massive storms even caused a power cut last night, and for some reason we started talking about scary stories/experiences...so, as you can imagine, there being five girls in the pitch black, we all got a bit freaked out lol (Well I certainly did!)!!
We all went out on Friday night which was really good. We tried to go into town to explore the area yesterday (Saturday), but 15 minutes down the road we were all soaking wet and freezing, (the rain actually hurt your face!) so decided to go back to the comfy sofa, TV and books!
We left the Bay of Islands this morning (where it was still raining!) and drove to Auckland, passing so many flooded areas! Luckily it isn’t raining here at the moment, but I am quite looking forward to being a few degrees warmer at home!!! Really really can't believe I've finished my travelling...for now anyway!!! J Just got tomorrow in Auckland, then my 26 hour flight home!!! See you in two days time!!!! Hope you’re all well, tonnes of love xxxxxxxxxx