Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Weekly Update

Collection of photos from the past week.

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We had a Capricciosa pizza from Made in Italy.

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Ate a horrifically disgusting caramel candy apple. I chucked most of it out.

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And of course, Thai in Newtown.

Tomorrow, the Boyfie and I will be heading down the South Coast to Jervis Bay via Kiama, Berry and 7 Mile Beach! I am super excited and have been for a while. This will be my first road trip in Sydney with someone aside from my family.

Paihia

I spent my final day in NZ in Paihia, up the coast of the North Island. Originally, I wanted to head all the way to Cape Reinga, but it was just too costly and I settled on something half way.

The drive up was quite nice however I somehow managed to lose my sunnies on the bus. Not entirely sure how it happened, but it happened. Paihia was underwhelming. Thankfully I had booked a cruise to the Hole in the Rock the night before.

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At some point on the cruise, we spotted dolphins and I was a little apathetic. Nothing can beat the experience I had at Hilton Head Island where I kayaked with dolphins however the dolphins soon swam next to the boat which was incredibly cool.

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And finally we reached the famous Hole in the Rock. Usually, the boat would go through the hole however there were large swells which made it impossible that day.

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Back on shore, I purchased a maple and walnut gelato (ice cream?) which tasted alright. In hindsight, I should have purchased another flavour.

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And that concludes all my NZ posts.

Overall Thoughts
New Zealand was a country that I had always wanted to visit and it exceeded my expectations mostly. As everyone says, the South Island is the island to be as the landscape is just incredible. That being said, my main issue with the North Island was that it was so similar to Sydney/ the country that I was used to so it didn't really feel very special or enjoyable. In honest fact, I didn't enjoy any of my days in the North Island and in hindsight, I should have left early. However, I did want to give the North Island a chance so I guess it didn't all go to waste.

Would I re-visit?
No. Unless I was to travel with my future children for a holiday, which wouldn't be happening for another decade or so.
Saturday, 22 February 2014

Waiheke Island

I had one day in Auckland and decided to take the ferry to Waiheke Island. I had heard quite good things about the place, but I was just so disappointed. It was honestly a waste of time and money.

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Perhaps I am spoilt, but the beaches there were so underwhelming. But the colour of the water was incredible.

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I guess I was also frustrated since I had to wait over an hour for the bus to arrive to take me back to the ferry. All up, I spent around $60 on a day trip and I didn't enjoy any of it. Ah well.
Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Rotorua

Next stop was Rotorua which I struggled to pronounce. It was a 4 hour bus ride on Naked Bus. I had originally booked a bus which departed Auckland at 7am. However there was a timetable change which I was happy with. Until I realised that I was meant to arrive at my connecting stop 30 minutes after my second bus would have left. Genius. So I contacted the desk and they rebooked me onto another bus which departed Auckland at 4pm In the end, I booked another bus and wasted $15. Not a happy camper.

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Due to the sulphur from thethermal pools, the air smelt like eggs which I didn't mind since I love eggs. But then I craved for eggs. D'oh.

I was bored by the city. It was underwhelming and by this stage, I was frustrated with how commercialised the entire place felt. Sky diving, white water rafting, Hobbiton, it just felt like everything was just pushed into my face. I met a nice girl from Germany (though seriously, everyone was from Germany) and she was so lovely. The German girl was saving her pennies and hitch hiked a lot and managed to get food from other people. She had a bowl of oats from one person, a banana from another, and a slice of bread from another backpacker. I generally don't eat breakfast and she mistook my lack of food for being too poor to afford food. So with the little food she had, she offered to share. What? It was so nice and so genuine. I didn't take any of her food, but it was an incredibly lovely gesture and it still makes me smile. There she was, with almost nothing and she was offering me food. Incredible. I gave her my details and if she decides to contact me when she gets back to Sydney, I would love to meet up. But it was a really raw moment.

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I had a lot of time to kill and decided to visit the Hot Spring Pools at the Polynesian Spa. It cost around $40 and whilst I did enjoy it, it was incredibly lonely. I also managed to scratch my camera which was really disappointing.

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The view from the pools.

Auckland

Auckland was my next stop and I arrived at domestic airport ridiculously early. However luckily there was free unlimited wifi which was amazing! Auckland and the North Island also marked the introduction of hostel life again.

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Hello hostel entrance. But all in all the place was pretty good, minus the lack of windows. But it was a nice place. Would highly recommend Newton Lodge.

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Auckland felt a lot like Sydney and so it became a little boring just because when you travel, you expect a place to be quite different to what you are used to. And Auckland just felt so familar.

I initially wanted to complete the Coast to Coast Walk however I became incredibly frustrated. I walked 9km to see this.

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Yep. One Tree Hill.

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Don't ask me why there were sheep in the middle of the park in the middle of a major city. Only in New Zealand.

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