After 18 hours of travel, a guy collapsing on our plane one row behind me (he was okay), Mark and I landed in beautiful, beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. We have been here for only 4 days but they have been fun-packed.
Here are just a few highlights–
Arrived at 5.30a.m. and made our way to the Magic Backpacker Bus office where we jumped on a backpacker bus at 7.30a.m. to Paihia, a small coastal town about 4 hours north of Auckland. We explored the town, had our first fish and chips on the beach, relaxed in the sun and headed back to our hostel for a backpacker bbq. We met a bunch of awesome people from around the world and hearing their travelling stories has been simply amazing. I crashed early but Mark was the true casanova and headed out with 3 Swedish girls to another bar to go dancing.
Woke up early and got on an all-day Dolphin Excursion boat that took us into the Bay of Islands. We saw heaps of shiny grey, jumping, playful dolphins! They swam right along side the boat and did tricks for us like they just escaped from Seaworld…it was amazing to see them up close and in the wild. Unfortunately, we could not go swimming with them because they had their joeys, so we settled for a cruise along the islands, a picnic on the beach with our new friends from London, and watching some daring souls go boom riding (bascially a net-like hammock on the side of the boat that you can hold onto like an adventure ride while the boat moves). Instead of making our way back to Paihia we jumped ship at Russell, a town across the bay, and hit up a pub for a nice frosty beer, a fantastic sunset and great conversations with our European friends about culture, politics, religion and why U.S. citizens have to pay for medical and university!
Day 3 & 4
Got on the backpacker bus headed back for Auckland and made a great friend named Rich along the way. We ended up joining him at the hostel he booked in Auckland, and we met up with three of his Danish friends for a fun night out of drinking, Ive got no shoes dance and late night kebabs-which are a delish slice of heaven. The next morning we got up early and left for Waikeke Island where we spent the entire day out on the beach, boogy boarding and enjoying the NZ sun. Made me happy that I am not in snow!
Now we are just about to embark to Waitomo Caves, where we are going to go underground abseiling and tubing! There are also hundreds of glow worms in the cave. Pictures and more stories to come.
Much love to all back at home!