Kia’Ora from New Zealand

This post was originally done as a guest post for http://www.processingthelife.com but I thought I would share it on my own blog as well.. Hope you like it!

Having spent the last seven months in my beloved Thailand, I flew to Auckland, New Zealand where I would spend the next seven weeks. This was all part of my travelling plan but when I first got there I hated it! I had left behind some good friends and my gosh it was so cold. I hadn’t worn any winter clothes, let alone proper shoes, since leaving the UK in the January. I knew I would feel better in a few days but for the first few days I couldn’t muster even the smallest smile and I mooched about in a state of self-pity! I was missing the friends, that I had made in Thailand, the weather, the culture, everything about it- I just felt a little lost and lonely.

auckland

Auckland

Auckland

However, that feeling changed when I booked myself onto a “Magic Bus” tour. This bus takes you round the whole country, you can get on and off where and when you want, and get picked up again from where you are to continue your trip, and you see loads of cool stuff. There are different tours you can go on, but I chose the one that took me round the whole of the north and south islands. And depending on what you want to do and where you want to go, you can either stick with the same bus or, if you want to spend more than one night in a place, you get picked up by the next bus on the same journey.

The Magic Bus

The Magic Bus

And it is a great way to meet like-minded people. You naturally start talking to people and I made friends with a few good people and we had a lot of fun together.

So my little tour began-

The first destination was Rotorua, which is about 230 km southeast from Auckland and it is a major tourist destination, due to its geothermal activity- including Lady Knox Geyser, and several hot mud pools that bubble away amidst a very steamy atmosphere. And because of the hydrogen sulphide emissions Rotorua is also called “Sulphur City”- it smells of rotten eggs everywhere you go.

Rotorua Mud Pools

Rotorua Mud Pools

Along the way the bus stops off at various places and, on the way to Rotorua, I watched someone do a bungee jump. Kirsty, one of the girls I met, tried it- she got all the way to the edge of the platform and couldn’t do it. It does look amazing, especially when you get dunked in the water below, but throwing yourself off a platform, with an 80 foot drop below is not my idea of fun.

Lady Knox Geyser

Lady Knox Geyser

View From the 80 foot Bungee Jump

View From the 80 foot Bungee Jump

I went to visit Tamaki Maori Village where I was treated to a Maori culture show, a traditional Hangi feast and a walk around the village to learn about Maori art forms, traditions and ways of life. The men also did the “Haka”, which is an ancient war dance, something that the All Blacks rugby team begin a match with.

The next stop was Lake Taupo and here I visited the fast, powerful and beautifully coloured Huka Falls. Later we took our bus driver, Terry, for a few beers at the local pub. I don’t know why I chose this night to have a few beers and not get to bed until 1.30am, when I had to be up at 5.30am the next day to hike across an active volcano.

Tamaki Maori Village

Tamaki Maori Village

So 5.30am the next day, feeling a little hung-over, I started on the hike across Mount Tongariro- Mount Tongariro is in Tongariro National Park (New Zealand’s first national park and one of the earliest in the world). It is a beautiful volcano located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone of the north island. I had five layers of clothing on-it was that cold-and it took about eight hours to cross from Tongariro to Ngauruhoe.IMG_1923

Friends

Friends

The scenery is dramatic and in parts covered in snow, especially higher up, but parts, lower down the mountain, had running mountain springs and plants that were growing up out of the melted snow.

Mount Doom

Mount Doom

I climbed up the side of

Tongariro Mountain Springs

Tongariro Mountain Springs

Mount Doom which, for Lord of the Rings fans, is very, very cool! At the summit I had lunch and literally felt that I was on top of the world- it was such a sense of achievement having reached the summit- it was not an easy climb up- and the views would have been awesome but the clouds were covering the peaks of the mountains. (Literally a feeling of being on top of the world)

The way down was rather amusing as the slope was steep and the easiest way was to inch your way down, much like when you’re on skis, but on that particular slope the ground was covered in hot rocks, rather than snow and they were really slippy- the only way down was to slide down on my backside! Anyway, I slid, fell on my arse, ended up in a heap with five other people and none of us could move because we would have all slid down the mountain. We eventually made it to the bottom, not without some hysterical laughter on the way down.

A View From The Summit

A View From The Summit

Made it to the Finish

Made it to the Finish

I went to Wellington- the capital of New Zealand- where I had a great night with my new friends, making it one of the best places so far. I had turned into a proper backpacker- sleeping in YHA dorms, buying my own food and staying in! We went out to supermarket and we (we being- myself, James, Sheena, Nicholas and Annette- a few friends I had made on the

The Way Down

The Way Down

way) made a lovely spaghetti bolognaise and happily chatted about our travels so far. I had been living like a princess in Thailand, staying in hotels, eating out every night but no longer could I afford such luxury-nor did I want to because some of the best times you have are the most simple ones.

Wellington

Wellington

OMOBIM1

It's a personal journey, envision greatness, soar high, sky is no limit

TripDukaan

We Plan, You Travel

Being Author

Promotions, reviews and publishing-related services.

La Dépaysée

Feeling Foreign Around The World

Leadership2Mommyship

Exploring life through a leadership and mothership lens.

Sweta Ojha

A Personified Narrative : Defying Reality. Sketching Imageries.

When I' m With You... Whitney Ibe Blog!

Inspirational,Motivational, Lifestyle, Daily Living, Positivity, Religion

Global Housesitter x2

#fulltimehousesitters #worldtravellers #loveanimals #lifelearners #musingsaboutlifeandtravel

1000 Places and Memories

Another blog about best places to visit and memories to share

Roth Poetry

Poetry From the Heart!

Travel | Food | Art

Divya Deepak Rao

Harmony Books & Films, LLC

Tired of being ordinary, then here are some tips for becoming extraordinary.

wishes.spardha

#Health#Fitness#Quotations#Random Life

Art Expedition

a painter´s attempt to conquer the great white canvas

DesignTactician.blog

Approach everything with confidence, and a sense of humor.

fromdreamtoplan

She turned her can'ts into cans and her dreams into plans.

Ute smile

Ute's Happy World

paintdigi

--- ALOZADE a. the artist Show you these artistic creations and ideas. Especially in digital painting. ---- L'artiste ALOZADE a. vous propose ces créations et ses idées artistiques. Surtout en peinture digitale.

La Audacia de Aquiles

"El Mundo Visible es Sólo un Pretexto" / "The Visible World is Just a Pretext".-

Image Earth Travel

Travel and photography blog by Nilla Palmer. Capturing the globe with words and lens. Come travel the world!

neihtn

Village Teacher - The Book & Photographs

livewithstyle19

live your life in your own way

Enchanted Forests

This Blog is about discovering the magic of forests in every aspect of life from a small plant in a metropolis to the forests themselves

jdubqca

poetry by j matthew waters

Savvy Book Writers

How to Publish a Book - Blog with Tips for Writers and Publishers

Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog

Kerry Mark Leibowitz's musings on the wonderful world of nature photography

Insidethelifeofmoi

An eccentric blogger with a pen and a thousand ideas

P e d r o L

storytelling the world

Dan Alatorre - AUTHOR

helpful writer ramblings from a disturbed mind just like yours

PhotoRos

Eye eye.

Travel Moments

Adventure, Luxury and Beyond

simplygiselle

Come for the sass, stay for the class

J M Lysun

The pleasure of creative writing.

SEEN ALONG THE TRAIL

"I am at home among trees." -J.R.R. Tolkien

infinite satori

FOLLOW YOUR GOOSEBUMPS

From Swerve of Shore

A Blog by Photographer Aaron Joel Santos

The Insatiable Traveler

Adventure. Photography. Inspiration. And more!

CEREBRATION

Reflections of a deeper psyche!

Storing Hope

Stories about love to restore hope in people's hearts

move to www.HipsterYogi.com

we have moved to www.hipsteryogi.com

Mac's World

Perspectives from A-Z

Clare's Cosmos

A Galaxy of Thoughts and Creativity

%d bloggers like this: