The North Island.
The north island gets a little bit of a bad wrap sometimes, as most people think the south island is more fun, has nicer landscapes and is where you jump off things. We, however had so much fun up North- maybe even more than the south!
Wellington- After a couple of hours on the ferry (which was more than enough due to the persistent rocking) we made it to the capital! It was wet and freezing whilst in Wellington but we still got to try out some local coffee (which Wellington is famous for) and check out the museum (Te Papa). I spent a good five hours wondering around the museum (my boyfriend was sick in bed, due to being under-dressed on the glacier!) and the other tour group were off exploring other parts of Wellington.
Another Lake (Taupo)- What a surprise another lake! First stop was skydiving! Jake took the plunge… I stayed on the ground (I am not the biggest fan of planes, let alone jumping out of them).Straight after skydiving the contiki bus took us to bungy! I did the bungy swing (Taupo cliff hanger) and some other tour members did the real deal (Jake included). It was an adrenaline fuelled day!
What’s that smell? Rotorua has an unfortunate smell due to the sulfur hotsprings which are everywhere! Steam literally comes out of the ground in the middle of the streets- the novelty wears off almost instantly when you realise how bad they smell. We were invited into a traditional Maori village where we participated in a ceremony with the chief. This was an incredible experience that I will never forget- getting a glimpse into other cultural traditions was such an honour. That night we were able to take part in the Haka (a traditional Maori dance) and ate traditional (delicious) food. During our time in Rotorua we also went in Ogo’s and white water rafts… we even went down a 7 meter waterfall!
Hobbiton– Seriously, a place where dreams are made of! Even if you are not an avid Lord of the Rings fan, you will appreciate the quaintness and cuteness of Hobbiton. It is truly a place of fairy tales.
Auckland- We arrived in Auckland and finished up the contiki tour. My boyfriend and I were spending a couple of extra days by ourself in Auckland which included diving with sharks in the aquarium, which for me was obviously a highlight due to my self-confessed obsessions with sharks. We also did a day tour up to the Bay of Islands (getting close to the top of NZ) and enjoyed a cruise. Unfortunately we did not see any dolphins, which meant we could not swim with them (although due to the temperature we weren’t too disappointed). If you travel up here at the right time you can even see orcas!
Some more photos to cement your desire to travel to New Zealand
We then boarded our flight back to Australia. My heart was filled with happiness and memories… but a part of it was also left across the Tasman sea!