Goodbye New Zealand

Trip Start Aug 12, 2010
Trip End Sep 23, 2011

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Frienz Backpackers
Uncle Scott's Taupo

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Hi all,

So from Kaikoura we took our Oz Experience bus to Auckland, via a nights stay in Wellington and Taupo. After taking the ferry across to the North Island we arrived in Wellington late again so we didn’t have time to sightsee. For the second time Nomads Hostel had seriously made an error with our room and sent us to a room which was already full. They then sent us to another room which was apparently empty, but once we got there it was full, how dumb can you get? After more confusion we spoke to the lady who helped us before, and once again she put us in a small double room, result!

The next morning we left Wellington for the 5 hour trip up to Taupo, our favourite place in New Zealand. Uncle Scott had offered to put us up for the night which we really appreciated. That afternoon he collected us from town and we went to do our bungy jump over the river. The bungy here is higher (49m) than the original bridge bungy (45m) in Queenstown and almost twice as cheap. Once we reached the office we checked in and weighed ourselves, this is when we hit a rather big glitch! To do a bungy you need to weigh more than 45kg…Hollie weighed 43kg meaning she could not jump. This was very disappointing to say the least as we had built ourselves up for it all day. Feeling sorry for Hollie, who considered going to the local bakery to eat 2kg worth of pies, I prepared for my jump.

I was much more nervous than I was for our skydive, mainly because you have to force yourself off the platform and actually have a real perception of the height, unlike a skydive. As I approached the edge I went weak at the knees and got that funny feeling in my belly. After being strapped at the ankles I wiggled to the edge and quickly got a 3,2,1 countdown. Not hesitating I put may hands above my head and slowly fell forward and quickly gained speed towards the river. Unexpectedly I smashed into the river and was dunked up to my waist before the bungy caught me and rapidly flung me back into the air…sweet as!!!

After the bungy Scott offered to treat us and take us to the local hot spring bath and pools. This is Scott’s favourite place to come after a cold winter day at the golf course warm up. Its really nice place to spend a few hours or even the whole day chilaxing! Me and Hollie both agreed that our Dad’s would have an annual pass if we something like this at home! That evening we cooked dinner for Scott to say thank you for everything he had done for us whilst in Taupo. The next day Scott took his first day off in 4 years to drop us off at the bus station and say our final farewells. This made a great end to our New Zealand trip and again made Taupo our favourite place.

After a 3 hour trip we reached a warmer Auckland and prepared for our flight the next morning, which included getting a much needed haircut after 5 months. Our overall impressions of New Zealand are very positive and we totally understand why people immigrate here. Its so beautiful, and the lifestyle is very laid back and outdoorsy. The whole country is spotless and in a month we didn’t see one bit of litter or graffiti, and the waters of all the rivers and lakes are crystal clear. It sounds very idyllic to buy your lifestyle plot, build your own house, and buy some sheep, cows and chickens. The average day of a Kiwi is to go to work and then in the afternoon participate in some sort of activity, whether that be waterskiing, paragliding, fishing, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, sailing… the list goes on. On the other hand you would find it very hard if you liked cosmopolitan living i.e. shopping, eating out, clubbing, and going to the cinema. Apart from Queenstown the whole country isn’t very fashion orientated and you’ll find it very hard to find a big cinema outside of the major cities of Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. The average Kiwi wears shorts (togs) and flip flops (jandles) and that’s it, on many occasions you’ll see people walking along the street without anything on their feet, crazy! Its true to say that New Zealand is England 30-50 years ago. But we loved it!!

Next stop Fiji…………

Love Thomas and Hollie x x x
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