Hello Auckland. After almost one year in Australia I finally made my way to the neighbour country! As always, the immigration process was very smooth and no one wanted to have a look at my luggage 😉
Not even an hour later I found myself at a bar called Ponsonby Social Club, where Joseph was already waiting for me. I met this dude around three years ago in Iceland – and he told me to hit him up if I would come to New Zealand. Here we go! Long time no see, so we had a lot to talk about and a great night out. The next day was also a big one for me: After more than one and a half years I saw my sister again. I was excited! The plan: Discover both North- and Southisland of this amazing country. We rent a car so we can be flexible in our schedule.
It was a truly overwhelming moment seeing her walking out the exit at the Airport. Reunited, finally! Unfortunately we couldn’t chill out that much as we had to pick up our car from the Jucy Rental agency. As I called their hotline, the Indian lad on the phone told me to wait for another 20min – he will come and pick us up. Not even another hour later we had our car and were on the way to our first AirBnB. This place was also special… We couldn’t unlock our rooms door from the outside (Host: Whaaaaaat? You locked your door?! You can’t unlock them from outside!) so I had to be cheeky and used an old creditcard to unlock it. We were so lucky, especially my sister Rita who really wanted to sleep after a 22h flight, a hike to Mt. Eden and a proper Sushi dinner.
We wanted to leave Auckland asap, so we went to Paihia (special thanks to the Golf Club Staff for not complaining as we walked across their lawn while they worked) and also to the tip of New Zealand – Cape Reinga. This is the place where the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean meet – so this must be the place where the world ends! I was even more astonished as I heard we can go and see huge sand dunes not even five kilometers away, which none of us expected. New Zealand is always coming up with someting special.
As we made our way to the famous Hot Water Beach, I noticed heaps of dead animals on or next to the street. Someone told me it’s the people run over them on purpose, because they want to protect their Kiwi Bird from being attacked by those animals. I’d say, that’s not true. The beach itself was great – build your DIY Spa by digging a hole at the shore and wait for the hot water to mix with the sea water. Very pleasant! Also the famous Cathedral Cove was a stunning place on our itinerary.
Do you like Lord of the Rings? Yeah? So, I never watched it (neither did my sister) and that’s why we didn’t get any of the references the tour guide at Hobbiton was talking about. Still, the scenery and nature were just fabulous. As we are not that tall we easily fit into the Hobbit-Homes, that was quite cozy! A pint of special Hobbiton Pale Ale was a great way to end our trip to this very special place on
The next place on our schedule was the world famous Waitomo Cave. “We are already here, so let’s go for the full package!” – one day full of caving! It was very exciting. Far away from daylight we learnt a lot about the history and ownership of the Aranui, Ruakuri and Waitomo Cave. Each of them do have their special charm, but Waitomo felt like the biggest tourist attraction and was a bit overrun.
Rotorua – does that ring any bell? It’s a beautiful place on the North Island full of volcanoes and geysers. I’ll let the pictures do the talk…
After relaxing and cruising around in our car we felt like doing stuff – like an alpine crossing! The best place for that is probably Mount Tongariro. The (demanding) eight hours hike over the picturesque Alps was a good decision, it’s also been a while I saw snow! On our way up we also had lunch with a view…
Did you ever try AirBnB? Well, I tried it a few times here and there – but this experience in Wellington was really different and outstanding in a positive way. Debi, our Host invited us to her birthday party with family and friends. We actually didn’t know it was her birthday until her boyfriend mentioned it as we said “Cheeeeers”! I am glad we brought loads of beer and wine, that’s a german thing I guess 😉
Another memorable thing was our first night on New Zealands’ South Island. After a bumpy three hour ferry ride (yes, we got seasick. yes, we did buy those pills in advance. no, we didn’t take them because we locked them in our car…) we finally arrived in Picton and checked in at our accommodation. Fun fact: it was located next to the biggest graveyard I’ve ever seen. But wait – as we went to bed, right after we switched off the light the walls and pretty much everything around us started to shake. Yep, that was an earthquake!
Now we are here, at the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park. This country does have lots to offer, such a beauty! I couldn’t wish for more. Well, a petrol station would be great as we ran out of petrol. But we will fix that tomorrow, the sunset is already waiting for us.
Have you ever been on a road trip? Tell me about your experience!