The Mad Dash Through NZ.

So after Al did his bungy thing we had some lunch then set off on our merry way. Left Queenstown and drove for what seemed like ages along windy roads that were partly covered in snow or ice, so driving was a little precarious. Manged to make it to the West Coast just before sunset then hurtled on up to the Fox Glacier where we parked up for the night.

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An early start and we set off again heading north to the ferry up to the North Island. Had been told it would take 9 hours so were keen to get going. When I checked my email that morning we had a message from my Uncle’s ex wife, Gill, saying she was near the ferry terminal so decided we would pop in and see her if we had time. Also had a message from Kathleen, who I used to work with saying she stayed in wellington and could offer a bed for the night (excellent). Again it was  a bit of a long stretch, with some stunning scenery,

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but finally made it up to Blenheim by 4 ish and didn’t have to catch the ferry till 6 so we found Gil and Rodney’s place and popped in for tea. Was great to catch up, even if we did have just a short time but was lovely to see them and meet their puppy, Flynn.

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After tea and a chat we hightailed it up to the ferry and boarded it almost immediately. Had some dinner on the boat and caught up with some of our log then watched “The Notebook”. Ferry ride was pretty choppy and lasted a whole 3 hours so there was a certain odour of puke about at the end  - lovely!

Got off the ferry and headed into Wellington when I had a call from Kathleen with directions to her house. Managed to find it no probs and had a great catch up chat with Kathleen and her boyfriend Darren and a few drinks before bed.

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Woke up late the next day and Kathleen had already left for work, but sat and chatted with Darren while he waited on new furniture being delivered and then we dropped him off in town and he gave us the guided tour!

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After our whistle stop tour of the Welly boot it was on the road again and Lake Taupo bound. Managed to arrive just before dark and stocked up on food at the supermarket and checked in to a campsite.

The next morning we got up and went sight seeing. First port of call was to look at the lake in the light,

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then we headed off to Hukka falls. The water was just amazing and came down at some speed (wouldn’t want to fall in there).

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From there we headed to a thermal wonderland, Orakei Korako, where we saw geysers, mud pools and steam. Pretty impresive but no exploding geysers which was a shame.

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From there we continued our journey north and drove through Rotorua and north to the Coromandel Penisula, Tairua, where my Uncle lives. Arrived at about 5 ish and parked up the van and were warmly welcomed by Clive and Annette and their dog, Molly and the smell of roast lamb cooking.

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Their house is just fantastic with the most breath taking views over the ocean and you could spend all day watching the scenery change before you! That night after a stuffing of lamb and spuds we drank a few bottles of beer and wine and generally gabbled on till the wee hours of the morning. Great to chat.

Woke up early and manged to catch the sunrise over their property which was beautiful. Then the head became a little sore and retired back to bed for a while.


That day was very lazy and we just wandered around the grounds and walked Molly taking in the fantastic views.

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That night it was a fab chicken pie, a few drinks and bed, all a little tired from the night before!

The next day we got up and headed to the Hot Water beach, where you can dig a hole in the sand and it fills with boiling hot thermal waters from underground. So we dug a hole and sat in it!!! A novel way to spend the day at the beach! 

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When we returned to the car Clive was convinced he could smell dead rat and on examining under the bonnet was proved correct!!


After the rat removal we went to a nice wee cafe for lunch where there were 2 baby goats in the garden.


We then did a brief tour of Tairua, taking in the sights then headed back to Clive and Annette’s.

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More food and this time Lasagne, more drinks and more chat and another pleasant evening was had by all. The next day it was time to leave as we only had two more nights in NZ and two more visits to do, so a quick brekkie then it was farewells and promises to comeback soon (hopefully).

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Left there and headed towards Hamilton. Stopped off in Hobbiton, aka MataMata, where they filmed a good bit of the film, but the tours were not recommnded to the set and expensive so gave that one a body swerve! Saw the other sight in the town a tower,which was over rated also!

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From there we headed North to Hamilton where we were meeting our friends Daryl and Sandra who we karaoked with in Bangkok! Arrived at their’s at tea time, ate pizza then headed off to Daryl’s son’s 18th birthday party. A good time was had by all and a few drinks to go with it. Great to cath up with the pair of them and more promises to keep in touch and catch up again soon, which would be great! The next morning, after a big brekkie and a treat of some waxing by Sandra at her salon/beauticians we were off again this time Auckland bound. 

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One last visit, this time to my kind of cousin, Kathy and her husband Collin, who live just shy of Auckland. Due to a dodgy mud map, drawn by Annette (sorry Annie but it wasn’t the best!) it took us a while longer to find their place than we thought, but by the powers of mobile phone and guess work we located them late afternoon. They have a beautiful house on a farm, with cows!! They also have two beautiful children, Erica and Alex.


We spent the afternoon cleaning out the camper and catching up on washing, which was much needed! The troops had to go out for an 80th that night so Al and I found a chippy and caught up on some interwebbing. Kathy and Collin arrived back at about 11 then proceeded to ply us with drink and we chatted the night away and all of a sudden after a medley of Queen, it was 5 am. So another late night and early start and we awoke to the smell of bacon sandwiches wafting into our room which is a mighty good hangover cure. After brekkie and a few goodbyes we were off to drop off the van and fly onto Fiji. The heavens opened just as we were leaving, which marred plans of driving into Auckland and we were also a little too late for that!

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Dropped off the camper and Collin and Erica had kindly followed us there so they gave us a ride to the airport, where it was more goodbyes and goodbye to NZ, Fiji bound. Shame we only had two weeks here but loved it and will be back!

So I’ll pick up the tale soon and tell you of our adventures in Fiji. Just to say to everyone in NZ thank you all so much for your hospitality it was fantastic to catch up and we hope to be back soon and for longer!! Thanks again.

24 Responses to “The Mad Dash Through NZ.”

Bob & Ace said:

Love the hairy blonde looks like me but smaller. Also loved Molly as she is a great colour.
Sea Gull and goats good but more wild life pickies required. Mud whale of some interest but needs longer simmering.
Think the paddling brook was a bit too much for us.

Posted on August 25th, 2007.

Bob & Ace said:

Forgot to mention that we do not like our rats that well hung

Posted on August 25th, 2007.

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