Virgin, UT

Place 85 – Day 2: Virgin, UT – 25 Hour Cycling Race!

25 Hour Cycling Race

We were up fairly early for Tom to get ready for his cycling race, which began around 10:00.

The weather was cold in the morning, around 2°C.

Tom went out to the briefing and we got ready.

The race was beginning at 10:00, but it was a running start to the bike, so Curtis walked down with Tom to the start to catch the beginning run.

After the run, Tom was on the bike and taking some laps.

We sat out in the sun and relaxed until we noticed we were very much on the way of the course, so when there was a break we drove the RV further down and out of the way.

There was some beautiful views and mountains around the place, too.

Tom did around 6 laps and then was done for the day.

Curtis watched hockey and then we sat and played cards for the rest of the night. We couldn’t even fire up the generator to charge devices as it wasn’t working for some reason, but that’s a tomorrow problem.

Up at a decent time tomorrow for Tom to do a few more laps and then off we go to another place!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Virgin, UT

Place 85: Day 1: Virgin, UT 🇺🇸 – Campervaning In Utah!

Leaving Vegas

We were up to get checked out and have some breakfast.

We checked out via mobile and queued up to get our bags in storage.

Once we got our bags checked, we headed over to McDonald’s for a quick easy breakfast and a sit down.

Once we finished our food, we went to the check in counter to ask a few questions we had and by the time that was done, we wanted to go and grab a taco from the place we had visited list time in Vegas.

We took Tom to the Mexican place and each had a carnitas taco, which is delicious pork and vegetables, which was perfect to tide us over.

That took us to the perfect time to go and grab our bags and head off.

We got them and jumped in a Lyft up to a house where we were pickup up a campervan.

Our Campervan

The couple we got the camper from were a lovely older French couple that rent out a few campervans.

We had a tour of it, they told us how to use different things and that was pretty much that.

It’s a perfect size for the 3 of us, too.

We got in it and hit the road, heading to rent a bike from Tom.

Bike Rental

We got to a bike rental place but it seemed that there isn’t actually a shop there. We called them and they said that there is no shop and they only deliver to hotels, so we canned that idea.

We found another place that was en route, so we stopped off there instead.

Tom got a bike for a good price which was nice and easy and we went to grab coffees for the journey.

To Utah!

We set off and up to Utah Tom drove.We had an uneventful drive really, just drove through Nevada, Arizona and finally into Utah.

We stopped off at Walmart once we got into Hurricane, Utah and got a few supplies for our 3 day campervan stay.

We drove the rest of the way, figuring out where to go and then driving down into the gravel roads and finally out into the campsite.

We were greeted and showed our spot, where we setup and got ready to hunker down.

We got a bit of food in us, just some frozen pasta stuff we bought, and then relaxed for a bit before we went to sleep, as we have to be up relatively early tomorrow.

It’s actually quite warm at the moment inside our camper, so that’s a win!


This Time Last Year!


Mr & Mrs Hale

Auckland, Rotorua

Place 49 & 60 – Day 251 & Day 2: Auckland & Rotorua – Luge

We woke up and all got ready before having a ‘breakfast BBQ’ (which was just sausages).

Once done with breakfast, we drove 10 or so minutes down the road to an adventure park where we decided to go on the luge!

We bought 3 rides each and hopped into the cablecar up the mountain. This went quite high, actually!

Way_Up_View_Luge
The View On The Way Up

We each took three turns on the on the luge. The first time, we went into the easiest course. For the other two, we went to the intermediate course which was much faster and harder.

During our second run, we almost crashed into a group of people who had stopped on one of the fastest parts of the track, which was dangerous!

Our third run was event free but much faster which was great fun if not a little scary.

After each run, we had to take a stair lift back to the top, which was quite high and slow.

After we finished the luge, which was incredibly fun, we had a 3 hour drive back to Auckland.

Way_Down_View
The View On The Way Down

Once we got back to Auckland, we dropped off the campervan and got a taxi back to our place, where we picked up baggage and each drove family to their next accommodation, which is a house in Campbell’s Bay.

We got moved in there and went for a quick shop for dinner. Kim made sweet chilli fried beef stir fry and it was delicious!

We went to bed early (ish) and watched the first episode of the Great British Bake Off just before crashing and heading to bed.

We are up fairly early again tomorrow with more fun planned!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Rotorua

Place 60 – Day 1: Rotorua – Hell’s Gate Sulphur Spa

We had to get up and go this morning! We woke up at 07:00, got showered and ready to set off.

We set off by 07:50, which was the perfect time! We had a 4 hour drive to Rotorua ahead of us. We stopped for breakfast on the way at the local McDonald’s!

View_Car
One of the views from the car!

We got to Rotorua at a great time, around 13:30.

We arrived at Hell’s Gate, which is the oldest sulphur spa in new Zealand.

We first walked around the hot springs, each of them varying in temperature and some looked awesome, with them bubbling, too!

There was a forest section too, which we got some nice photos of, including a waterfall which was naturally 40°C!

This took around 45 minutes, then it was time to get in the sulphur pools. These were naturally heated by sulphur and around 40°C.

We stayed in here for about 30-45 minutes before it got a bit too hot for us, so we got out and showered. We all still smelled of sulphur though!

We left here and went to the campsite where we all showered again to get rid of the smell of sulphur.

After this, Kim made a magnificent chilli con carne which we all ate together.

We then went and sat in the ‘TV room’ here at the campsite where we met a newlywed couple from Melbourne, Australia. We all had a chat for a few hours before it got to 22:15 and we all decided it was bedtime.

Tomorrow is another fun packed day, but is also the last day of the roadtrip (but not the last day of Curtis’ family visiting!).

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Levin

Place 59 – Day 1: Levin – Back in The North Island

We had to leave by 10:00 this morning so we woke up and had some bacon sandwiches and coffee then showered and got going.

We didn’t really do anything today. We drove to Picton from the campsite in kaikoura and boarded the ferry.

We sat on the ferry for 4 or so hours and then got off and drove for another couple of hours from Wellington to Levin. We had to drive on some mountain roads which had very big drops to the side of us, but Kim did very well.

We got to the campsite and went down the road for food. We went to a place called Cobb & Co. This was ok, though a lot of the food was clearly microwaved. It tasted alright though.

We got back to the campsite around 21:30 and all got right into bed. We are up early tomorrow!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Kaikoura

Place 58 – Day 2: Kaikoura – Whale Watching, Hot Tub & Family Games Night!

We woke up a bit later, at 08:30, and got showered. We had very nice showers here again, which was a win!

Lisa went to the bakery to get some breakfast. This was an assortment of pastries.

From this point, we walked down to the whale watching building. Next to this, there was a black stony beach and a wonderful view of the mountains. We then went inside for our briefing.

After the briefing, we went into a bus to take us to the bay where the boat was.

We were then on the boat for 2.5 hours! We saw a lot of Albatross, including the biggest one in the world, the wandering Albatross. As well as this, we got to see the mountains from the sea, which were stunning.

There were many other birds that we saw, too. We stopped moving a few times so the crew could track the whales’ sonar, which we were unlucky with the first few times.

After a while, they finally heard the sonar of a whale and we raced to where it should be and, sure enough, it was right there, just chilling on the top of the water. We were then told that it was about to dive back down and we got some great photos and videos!

We then made our way back to land and got on the bus back to the whale watching building.

From here, Kim went off with Lisa and the kids to get food whilst Curtis and Gareth went to get the campervan looked at as there were some warning lights appearing.

Kim, the kids and Lisa were unable to find any food and met Curtis and Gareth at the garage before going to Subway for lunch.

After lunch, we went back to the garage and found out that the campervan was all good so didn’t have to worry about that at all. We then went to the shop to get dinner supplies.

We got back to the campsite and fancied a dip in the hottub, so we did that for a couple of hours, though it was incredibly hot!

We got out and had a shower and then it was time for dinner.

We had a BBQ for dinner, though it was too cold to sit outside so we went inside and had a lovely meal!

After this, we went to the onsite games room and all had an amazing time playing the games there. There was table tennis, fußball, pool & air hockey. We were here for ages and then had to head to bed at 22:00!

Tomorrow is another driving day but not too long, which is a positive.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Franz Josef

Place 57 – Day 1: Franz Josef – Kiwi Bird & Hot Pools

We left at 10:00 and drove towards the Franz Josef glaciers.

We wanted to get to the glaciers today, so we made our way towards them!

For breakfast, we had bacon and sausage rolls and a coffee. There were sheep across the river too!

We stopped to get some fuel and then saw the awesome vintage store across the way which used to be commercial stables.

We went across a lot of cool bridges and saw some great scenery!

We arrived in Franz Josef and got to the caravan park. We got to the correct plot, parked up and explored!

We found a wildlife park which had Kiwi Birds in them, so we had to go in. We saw the kiwi which was much bigger than we thought! No photos were taken as it was forbidden. Whilst we were in there, a man farted on Kim’s feet whilst crouched, which was hilarious!

We walked around the rest, seeing information about glaciers and also Tuatara which are pre-dinosaur animals.

We left here and went to the hot pools. These were man made pools which were meant to mimic a hot spring, similar to the Blue Lagoon in Rejkjavik.

We couldn’t take photos here either, but we all had fun chilling in all the different pools.

We left here and went for a beer at the pub on our campsite before making dinner.

For dinner, Kim managed to make hunters chicken in our tiny kitchen in the campervan. It was absolutely divine!

We then sat and had a few drinks whilst chatting together.

Tomorrow we will see some glaciers up close and then have another long drive!

This Time Last Year!

Murchison

Place 56 – Day 1: Murchison – Ferry Crossing & Finally Camping!

We woke up very early at 04:30 and got ready to leave.

We got showered and packed up before jumping in the campervan.

We drove from Palmerston North to Wellington to catch the ferry to Picton on the south island.

The ferry was a 4 hour journey but we used the time wisely to have some breakfast. Kim got a breakfast panini and Curtis had the big kiwi breakfast.

We chilled on the ferry and then headed from the ferry to a town called Murchison. This is an old town where a lot of the shops are still old and sell old items!

We got a campsite where the owner was very lovely and helpful. It was just us at the site when we arrived and there were bikes we could use too!

We went with Gareth to the town on the bikes which was cold but really fun. We looked into the windows of the (closed) shops and then went to the tiny supermarket for supplies. We cycled back to the campervan and were quite tired from that point!

im and Lisa made spaghetti bolognese for dinner and we all sat outside and ate with incredible views.

We made our way back to the campervan and got ready for bed.

We chilled out just chatting and then headed to bed to get rested!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Palmerston North

Place 55 – Day 1: Palmerston North – The Start, Mountains & Snow!

We woke up at 07:30 and Kim had to go to work for an hour.

Once Kim was done with work, she got home and got ready for the rest of the day.

Curtis’ family were meeting us at our place. Once they arrived, we chucked our bags in the taxi and then got ourselves into the taxi and drove to near the airport to pickup a campervan!

After having to wait for over an hour, we finally got our campervan. We were given a quick tour and provided information then we were off! Gareth drove all day, which was very kind of him.

We got onto the motorway and headed towards Taupo for our first stop.

We had to stop a little earlier then planned as we needed to get some food.

We stopped in a small town called Cambridge. We just stopped at a BP garage and got some food. We had sandwiches and pies as well as a drink and some coffee!

After being well fuelled up, we drove on to Taupo.

Once we got to Taupo, we went straight to Huka Falls. These are some beautiful waterfalls.

Once we left here, we made our way towards our final destination of the day, Palmerston North.

This leg of the trip was absolutely beautiful! We had mountains, alpaca, sheep, cows and snow to look at!

Once we got into the mountains, the temperature dropped down to 0.5°C! Due to this, everyone in the back got under blankets to keep warm.

As it became dark, the sleet came and then so did the snow! Luckily, this ended fairly quickly, but we were still driving through the middle of no where in the mountains.

Kim took over driving for the last hour or so.

At 20:30 we arrived in Palmerston North after we’d been driving since about 12:00!

We planned to stay at a campervan site and make a spaghetti bolognese…which didn’t happen!

The website said it closed at 21:00 but we got there at 20:30 and it was closed! No one was answering the phone either so we had to figure out what to do.

We found a hotel/motel to stay in and went to their restaurant for a quick bit to eat before sleeping!

We have an early start tomorrow and a little bit more driving!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale