Archive for April 14th, 2007

First week in NZ

Saturday, April 14th, 2007

Finally, internet again 🙂

We arrived in Taupo yesterday, close to the Taupo lake (surprising name) and the Tongariro National Park, famous for Mt. Ruapehu, an active vulcano and Mt. Ngauruhoe (a.k.a. Mount Doom from Lord of the Rings).

Weather is not too good, a bit windy and cloudy, but we'll survive; our Campervan (named 'Willy') gives us everything we need and is nice and cosy.

So far New Zealand has been an amazing experience;

We started off in Auckland last Sunday; wandered through the harbour, climbed the SkyTower (the highest building in the Southern Hemisphere) and picked up the campervan. Next stop was the Coromandel peninsula, famous for the sandy beaches and blue sea and…Hot Water Beach, were we dug ourselves a hole on the shore and enjoyed the warm (sometimes TOO hot!) water coming from the natural spring underneath.

Next stop; Rotorua, situated right in the middle of the Geothermal Activity area of NZ and enjoyed the Maori culture at 'Te Puia' and Thermal Wonderland 'Wai-O-Tapu' and some amazing nature (besides the smelly sulphur odour, yek!). Finished it off with a jump in 'Kerosene Creek', got a nice diesel smell over me and wandered through the 'Craters of the Moon' and 'Huka Falls', both inbetween Rotorua and Taupo.

Next will be the Tongariro Crossing, a 7-8 hour (!!) walk/hike in the Tongariro NP…*if* the weather is good enough, otherwise we're off to Wellington, or Hastings, or…yet to be decided. 🙂

PS. I inserted links to the highlights, since photos are a 'no can do, sir' at the moment…