Place 68 – Day 3: Kerikeri – The New Place Is Awesome!

We were up again at 08:00 for our morning of work.

We had some breakfast and then started cleaning. We had just 4 rooms to clean. One of the rooms needed additional beds putting in, so we did that also.

We finished up the cleans around 12:00 and then had a coffee break. We had some coffee and cookies, as we did yesterday.

Once we finished our break, we cleaned the reception wetroom, which took a while but it looked much better once done!

We finished this, showered and packed up. We said goodbye and thank you and then left to our next place, with a stop at the bakery up the road! We saw it the other day and thought it looked terrific so we had to go. We shared a delicious beef and salad sandwich and then Curtis had a cinnamon and raisin roll whilst Kim had a chocolate doughnut.

We were sufficiently full, so we drove to our next place.

We arrived and got settled quickly. We did a bit of weeding, for around an hour, before we showered and relaxed a little.

We were then introduced to the husband and he was also delightful! He showed us a few things that needed to be done as well as how to do certain things and where things were.

We then had a long chat with them whilst they prepared dinner. We had burgers for dinner with egg, pineapple, beetroot, cheese, tomato, salad and sauce…a ‘kiwi burger’. We also had kumara wedges with it.

We chatted a bit more and then we washed up and headed to bed. Up early-ish tomorrow with some fun jobs to be done!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 379: Auckland – Biometrics & Back in The Hostel Life

Waking at 05:45, we all hopped in the car with Kim’s family’s bags and drove to the airport. There was no traffic, but we did need to stop for some fuel on the way.

We got to the airport and it was pretty busy! We walked all the way to the correct check in location and left Tom & Maggie there. It was pretty emotional for Kim!

We deove back and we were very tired. We had a late checkout from the hotel, so we didn’t have to leave until 12:00.

We slept when we got back until around 09:45. Curtis then had a coffee and we got packed and did a bit of admin.

We eventually checked out at 12:00 and moved all of our baggage to the car. We walked to a coffee shop in the centre of town, got a ham and cheese croissant each and a coffee for breakfast.

We left the coffee shop and Kim did a bit of shopping around the city centre. Once Kim had finished, we walked up to the Visa Application Centre for Curtis to get his biometrics for his visa completed. We turned up 15 minutes early but were seen anyway and had it completed just after the original planned time, which was a result.

Once we finished there, we went to get Curtis’ hair cut. We went to his usual place and were told it would be 20 minutes. We waited for 45 and were then told it’s another 30 minutes and the were 2 people ahead. We didn’t want to wait any longer so we left and went back to the hotel.

We picked up the car and drove to our next accommodation.

We are officially back in hostel life! At least for the moment. We got to the place and no-one was there to check us in. We called and they said we cannot check in until 16:00. We spoke with them and asked which room we are in and we were allowed in. We went to the room and it was disgusting with bugs everywhere and also a lot of mould, so we asked to move to another room we had seen which looks nicer.

Once we were in the new room, we waited to get our key at 16:00 and then had fun with them regarding payment…we went to the shop to get some drinks as we were very thirsty!

Once we got back, we moved all of our bags in and Curtis started to feel a bit unwell so we relaxed for a bit until he felt better.

We went out for a late dinner at a cheap Italian place which was OK but nothing special.

What was special was the sky after our dinner during our walk around!

We got back and did more admin as well as catch up on some TV.

It’s weird, and certainly not as nice, to be in a hostel again, even if it is a private room (shared bathroom)!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 378: Auckland – Big Breakfast, Bubble Tea & The Packing Game

We were up pretty early as we wanted to go out somewhere for breakfast.

We all wanted a big, greasy, cooked breakfast and the only logical place nearby was Denny’s!

We got to Denny’s and ordered enough food to sink a battleship. All of this came with refillable filtered coffee, of course.

We all ate ourselves silly and then went back to the hotel so Curtis could print some documents that he has to take to a visa application centre tomorrow.

Once we did that, we all did a bit of the packing game to get all our bags sorted and the correct weights.

We got most of that sorted and then went out for another wander around. We went to The Warehouse first and then to a camping shop to find luggage straps. We eventually found some in the camping shops so bought those and then kept walking.

Whilst in the city, we thought it’d make sense to speak to the bank and ask a few questions we had.

We left the bank and then popped to mcdonald’s to get a drink before wandering to a few possible dinner places to look at their menu. We made our decision and went back to the hotel to chill out.

Kim started her work visa application for the next country as she got invited too! We then left to get some dinner.

We went to Dr Rudi’s, which we also went to with Curtis’ family. We decided on 3 pizzas to share;

  • Pork Belly
  • Chicken & Bacon
  • Mediterranean Lamb

We ate as much as we could, took a doggy bag and waddled towards the hotel.

Tom and Kim stopped off to get a bubble tea on the way back, too.

Once we were all back, we finished a bit of packing and then sat down to watch TV. After we watched some TV shows, we sat and watched the film Apollo 13. It was a long one but a solid film for sure.

After this, we took Kim’s parents’ bags downstairs to the car as we need to take them to the airport nice and early tomorrow so they can get back to England!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 377: Auckland – Complimentary Upgrade

We woke up at 07:00 to get the car packed up and head off on the road to Auckland.

We were in the car for a couple of hours and then stopped just past Hamilton where we met the family we met up with in Rotorua.

We checked out their place and had a drink and snack whilst chatting away. Lovely piece of land they have!

After a couple of hours, we got a move on and drove to Auckland, but not before a brief stop at a recommended ice cream shop where there were huge ice cream scoops!

We got back on the road for the remaining 45 minutes and headed to our hotel. Kim booked a nice hotel for us to lounge in for a couple of days before her parents leave the country. We got to the hotel and brought in everything from the car and we then checked in. When checking in, we were given a complimentary upgrade on each room, which was perfect!

We checked out the rooms and put our bags in and then jumped back in the car and went to Takapuna for some lunch. We stopped at Nam Nam first for a Banh Mi and then went to Tok Tok for a Vietnamese coffee.

Post lunch, we drove to our former apartment and got all of our bags and put them in our car.

We drove to the hotel again to drop our car off and then Kim and Tom took the rental car back as required.

We got back to the hotel and got some items packed and then all sat together and watched the film Unbreakable.

We left after watching the film to find some dinner.

We wanted a Japanese noodle box but our usual place was closed, so we kept walking. Kim noticed a hidden place that has delicous sounding Japanese food.

Once we found the entrance, it was beauitful and looked like Japan!

We ordered a smorgasbord of food, each of us getting chicken katsu curry but we got tempura prawns and chicken karage for the table. It was excellent Japanese food and very authentic.

We left here and walked back to our hotel, with a beautiful view of the city.

We got back to the hotel and headed right to bed.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 60 & 67 – Day 6 & 1: Rotorua & Taupo 🇳🇿 – 15000ft Skydive!

We were up early to get a bit of breakfast in us before driving to Taupo. The drive from here in Rotorua to Taupo is around 1 hour, so we left with plenty of time.

We needed to be at the location for 12:00, but we got there around 11:30.

We were doing a skydive at Skydive Taupo! We decided on the 15000ft skydive and Kim booked the handheld camera for herself.

We arrived and were greeted with a very happy set of employees which made everyone calm. That being said, neither of us were really nervous.

It was us two and Tom doing the skydive today!

We all sat and went through the information and safety videos and then went and got all suited up. We had a jumpsuit and harness on, an old school pilot hat and some thin plastic goggles.

We waited for around 5/10 minutes and then it was our turn! We met our tandem masters who introduced themselves. Kim had a kiwi guy and Tom & Curtis had Germans.

We all crammed into the plane and off we went.

The climb took about 20 minutes and during that time, we had to use oxygen masks as we got too high to breath!

Eventually, it was time.

Kim was the first of the three of us to go, followed by Tom and then Curtis as he was stuck at the back of the plane.

What an amazing experience! The first fall is a shock and takes your breath away, but it was an incredible view and a surreal feeling.

We had 75 seconds of freefall followed by 4 to 5 minutes of crusing with the parachute, and we got to control the parachute too!

Once we landed, we were all super happy and super glad we did it.

We went out for a spot of lunch after. We went to a place called Dixies at which Curtis had a Cuban Sandwich and Kim had potato wedges with multiple toppings including sour cream and chilli sauce.

We then drove the 1 hour trip backto the house and just completely chilled out. Tom went for a bike ride so we waited for him to come back and then we had a similar dinner as yesterday.

Tomorrow is a chilled day, we think!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 60 – Day 3: Rotorua – Hot Tub Chillin’

Our hosts provided us with breakfast, which was very kind of them! Tom was even treated to some fish caught the day before.

We finished our breakfast and coffee, got ready, said goodbye and thank you and then got on the road.

We were driving to Rotorua, but stopped at Taupo on the way for a coffee. The McDonald’s in Taupo had a airplane as a kids play area which is awesome!

We left Taupo with our coffee and drove to Rotorua.

After arriving, we explored our large house, which can fit at least 10 people! We then went out to the shop to get food for dinner.

We relaxed for a while when we got back and then Kim made a steak salad which was delicious and beautiful!

After dinner, we jumped in the hot tub briefly, with a glass of bubbly!

We didn’t last long in the hot tub as it wasn’t that fun, so we got out and chilled.

Kim and Tom went to the supermarket to get some ice cream for dessert and then we hunkered down for the rest of the evening to relax.

We’re in Rotorua for a few days, so have some fun things planned!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 63 & 64 – Day 3 & 1: Queenstown & Oamaru 🇳🇿 – 300m Swing, 134m Bungy, Seals & Blue Penguins!

We were up early(ish) today and ready to go out.

We had to drive to Kawarau Bungy Centre, but firstly we had some time to kill, so we went into the centre of Arrowtown for some walking around.

Whilst there, there was a small Sunday market going on, which we had to go and see! There was a Swedish food stand, so we got a cinnamon bun each.

We walked around a bit more and Tom got a pie, then we had to get back to the car and drive to where we needed to be.

We arrived and got checked in. This meant we had to get weighed, get our weight written on our hand and on the other hand we got a number written as well as an indication of what we were doing.

We eventually got onto a bus to take us up to Nevis Canyon. The ride was bumpy and down some tiny, tiny mountain roads, until we eventually reached the top.

Unfortunately, it was on a ‘wind break’ when we arrived, but we could still look around and see how incredibly high up we were!

This is where the swing went from

This is where the bungy went from

Eventually, after about 3 hours of waiting for the wind to die down and for them to get all other people completed, we got harnessed up and sent right out to the swing.

It became windy when we got there, so it was briefly delayed again, but a few people went and then it was our turn! We went together and then Kim went again but with her mum.

The swing is a very thin swing which you are clipped into and you then do a very sharp drop 70m downward and then swing 300m, before swinging back a little and then you get pulled back up.

Kim loved this and Curtis didn’t mind the actual swing but the drop was not too fun!

Kim went again with her mum and still loved it then! Maggie had a great time.

After our swings, we walked back up but Kim wasn’t done there. Right after, she had to go right to the bungy area where she was doing a 134m Bungy, which is the largest in New Zealand!

Kim had a briefing and then was taken across onto a suspended platform in a small cage with a few others, ready to jump.

Kim was all fine until right before her jump, where she struggled to wave and smile at the cameras whilst standing on the edge. Kim did a terrific swan dive off the ledge and bounced a few times!

We got the bus back to where our car was and then drove on up to Oamaru, with a stop on the way for some food.

Once we got to Oamaru, around 21:00, Kim read that there should be penguins near the harbour, so we went down to try and find some.

After an hour or so of waiting for penguins, we didn’t see any and were asked to move on from where we were standing. We were able to see some seals, though!

When walking back to the car, someone pointed out two penguins who were really close! We were unable to get photos as the lighting was awful, but they were tiny and cute!

We eventually got back and were all tired. We showered and then headed to bed. We are driving straight to Christchurch tomorrow.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 63 – Day 2: Queenstown – River Bodyboarding

Curtis and Maggie both woke up with colds this morning!

We all had croissants for breakfast and then Tom & Kim went out to do some river bodyboarding.

The river bodyboarding was a 4+ hour trip in which they had to drive down to Queenstown, get picked up by a bus and get driven out to a river. Kim and Tom ended up being with an American family, but their guides were very good!

They eventually got to the river and were told that they couldn’t use the GoPro, which was a shame, so we got no footage of the event.

The first go was a bit more difficult as they had to get used to it, but on the second run it was much easier and it was all a lot of fun!

Once completed, there was a small snack area with musli bars and juice and then they had to get back on the bus. The bus took a very long time to get back to Queenstown and once back there, they went to the supermarket and then back home.

Whilst Kim and Tom were out, Curtis and Maggie chilled. Curtis got a lot of visa related things done and watched hockey.

When everyone was home, we had salad again for dinner and watched a bit of TV. All of a sudden, it was 22:00 so we all headed off to bed. Tonight is our last night in Queenstown but we have some fun planned tomorrow!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 63 – Day 1: Queenstown 🇳🇿 – Car Pickup, Arrowtown & Luge!

We were up nice and early at 05:30 to get showered and ready to fly!

We booked an Uber and got to the airport with about 2 hours to spare. We went to check our bags but realised they were too heavy, so had to re-jig them to ensure they were of an acceptable weight.

We checked our bags and went to McDonald’s for a spot of breakfast and a coffee.

We breezed through security, waited briefly and went onto the plane! The flight was nice and easy, we listened to some music and before we knew it, we were there.

Queenstown is very mountainous, which is the first thing we noticed.

We all collected our bags and walked outside to the transfers area where we were to wait for our free shuttle to our car rental company. We had to wait for 45 minutes for the shuttle, but eventually got there.

The car was very dirty, but to be fair to them, they are currently working on a construction site! We have the car for a couple of weeks.

After picking up the car, we drove to Arrowtown for a look around and for some lunch. Our airbnb host was kind enough to recommend a nice pub to go to, so one we walked around, we went there for lunch. Curtis had fish and chips whilst Kim had a chicken wrap.

We walk around a bit more after lunch and then just before driving to our airbnb, we had a brief walk around the old chinese settlement.

We drove to the airbnb and met our host who was lovely! We are in our own apartment out in the back garden of the house and it is perfect! Exactly what we were looking for!

We relaxed a bit and then drove down to Queenstown’s Centre to see what all the fuss is about.

We found a parking spot and went for a wander. We sat on the pier and watched some boats and looked at the mountains. It was perfectly relaxing!

Kim got a crepe and then we walked up to the cable car to do the luge!

We got 5 rides each and it wasn’t too busy.

We attempted to race but it didn’t work too well, until the last run which was a really good battle, until Curtis got stuck!

The views were exceptional from the top of the mountain.

Once we finished this, we walked down to the car and stopped at a supermarket for dinner supplies before heading home.

We got back to the apartment and had some salad for dinner with some other things and then pretty much went to bed! We did a bit of admin but got too tired so went to sleep.

More fun things ahead!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 376: Auckland – 2 Hour Massage, Ferry Trip & Afternoon Tea!

Kim had a massage booked for herself and her mum this morning, meaning Curtis and Kim’s dad (Tom) had nothing to do.

To combat having nothing to do, Curtis and Tom took a walk to a ferry port, about 35 minute walk away. The sun was beating down but there was a bit of wind so the walk was actually quite nice.

Once they got to the port, they had to wait for 30 minutes or so for the boat, so they sat and watched the world go by. They were right next to the harbour bridge so had a great view!

City_of_auckland_bridge_skytower_water

Once on the ferry, it only took about 10 minutes before arriving in the city.

Curtis took Tom the wrong way to the city, so they had a 30 minute diversion but it was nice! There was a hill to walk up followed by a park called Albert Park right by the university which had a gargantuan tree!

Big_tree_albert_park

They eventually got to the city centre and went to McDonald’s for a coffee whilst waiting for Kim & her mum.

Kim and Maggie had a terrific time with their massage! It was 2 hours of vigorous massage, but it helped them both greatly!

Feet_slippers_thai_massage

Massage_table

We met up again in the city and went for afternoon tea at a 5 star hotel!

We had an assortment of savory items, some scones and some sweet treats. There were sandwiches, curry pasties, macaroons, mini pavlova and more! We also had unlimited tea and coffee. This was very tasty and actually filled us up! Curtis gives it a 4.5/10 as nothing really blew him away. Kim gives it an 8/10.

Afternoon_tea

After we finished this, we waddled back to the car and drove home to relax for a bit, which didn’t happen!

Someone wanted to buy our bed, so we had to take that downstairs. Once we took it downstairs, we packed everything up and got it ready, both for our roadtrip and for leaving Auckland!

We got the room completely empty and tidy so that it could be shown to potential new tenants when we aren’t here.

We went out again in the evening to see Danielle and Josh and introduce them to Kim’s parents.

We went out to a BBQ place and the food was pretty good. Curtis had a 200G sirloin steak with bernaise sauce, chips & coleslaw. Meanwhile, Kim had a burger which had no bun but had fried mac & cheese as a replacement! Curtis gives his food a 6.7/10 and Kim gives hers a 8/10.

It was great to catch up with Josh and Danielle after such a long time and to introduce them to Kim’s parents.

Once we got home, we watched some YouTube videos and had dessert and then went to bed as we all need to be up early tomorrow.

We haven’t got a bed, so we are setup on the sofa/floor for tonight!

We are all flying together tomorrow! Should be fun but also tiring.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale