Next Stop Oz.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
1
385
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Trip End Dec 31, 2018


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Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Friday, December 16, 2011


We have more to see of NZ's north island, as we head our way up towards Auckland and our flight back to Australia, but we are getting excited now at the prospect of being back and particularly meeting and spending Christmas with our new granddaughter Bethany.

Bad weather sets in and that makes it harder to get excited about sightseeing too, but it holds off long enough for a visit to the Tongariro National Park, where we see the ski slopes and can visulise how busy this place would be in the winter. We take a two hour hike to a waterfall that takes us up a mountain, across a windswept grass plateau and down another mountain. Reversing this was quite a feat and made us realise we have some serious getting fit again issues to address!

As we headed towards Roturua, the skies opened big time and sightseeing was just not on the agenda. Luckily we have seen many thermal areas before so a quick look at some hot pools and  internet useage in McDonalds and we headed on, trying but not succeeding, in outrunning the rain.

Finally, the next day the rain let up and It was time to take the campervan back in Auckland and swap it for a cheaper hire car for our last few days. This was a bit trickier than we had assumed as being a Friday and close to Christmas most of the nearby hire companies were out of cheap cars, but we eventually scored a little cheapie and set of to visit with some friends of friends who made us most welcome and showed us a little more of Auckland.  We also enjoyed a visit to our friends we made whilst in the Cook islands, Leigh and Sharen and had a wonderful lunch with Leigh's parents who were keen to find out all about how we have managed our travel over the past year. Finally it was time to head off to the airport and our final set of flights, that would bring us back to Australia and our loved ones.       

Footnote: Tongariro National Park is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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