Place 70 – Day 8: Victoria,BC – Fisherman’s Wharf

The day started relaxed but productive.

We got some admin done, such as uploading photos and videos to Facebook. Not important, but needed to be done. We also spoke with Kim’s parents.

We went out to get some fresh air and went for a walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf which is only down the road.

This place is busy during the summer and has a few eateries, ice cream places and experiences.

Some of the floating houses

In the winter, these places are closed, but it is still great to look around. There are houses in the water, known as ‘floating houses’, which are actually privately owned and used, but you can still look around them.

We left here and went to the supermarket to get a couple of things. We got garlic bread, which took ages to find, as well as more cereal and some coffee. The coffee was fun as we selected the bean we wanted and got to grind it ourselves, which was stressful but fun.

We left the supermarket and came back, just in time for Kim to start on the pasta bolognese, which tasted fantastic! The garlic bread we bought was not so good, though.

We sat and watched TV with Linda for the rest of the evening, as well as doing laundry.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 70 – Day 5: Victoria,BC – Frozen Fountain & A Great Evening

We went up to a bar/restaurant we had been told about my Mark and Jill as their daughter works there, so we made the 40 minute walk, in the -3°C (feels like -9°C) weather.

There was a bit of snow on the ground but nothing really.

As we were walking, we saw that the fountain outside parliament was frozen, which looked awesome, so we had to check it out.

We then headed back to our destination. When we arrived, firstly, it was nice and warm. Secondly, Kim asked to see the person we had come to see and and she had finished her shift for the day, so we were unable to see her, which was a shame.

We did get a got choclate though, which was a result and it was tasty too.

We then braved the cold again to head back towards the apartment with a stop at the supermarket.

We got some items for dinner as Kim was cooking tonight!

We got back and Curtis watched two periods of the Leafs game whilst Kim made hunter’s chicken for dinner.

We ate our dinner and then it was time too brace for the cold again and go down to the city to see our friend Brody, who is Canadian but we met him in New Zealand.

On the way, the fountain was frozen but it now had a light around it which made it look even more awesome!

Once we found the bar, we also found Brody, got a drink and just chatted and chatted and chatted. We had an amazing evening, even planning to do something really awesome within the next month, hopefully.

Brody kindly gave us a lift back and then it was very late and very much bedtime.

This time last year!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 382: Auckland – Fred!

We planned to leave for 09:00 this morning to head back to Auckland, but none of us woke up on time, so that didn’t happen!

Danielle’s mum made us some pancakes for breakfast and then we all packed up and headed out back to Auckland.

There was a lot of traffic on the way back, so it took us about 5 hours all in all! We did make a quick bakery stop on the way back, but that didn’t delay us too much.

Once we got to Auckland we met our host for our remaining few days in New Zealand. Our host is lovely and has a bulldog who is very excitable. His name is Fred.

We got settled, had a chat with our host and then when she went out we got showered and relaxed.

Kim went out in the evening to see Tabitha for the last time before we leave. They went to a night market and wandered around there for a bit, eating some food, and then Kim came back and we chilled out watching some TV. Curtis got some much needed admin done whilst Kim was out, so that was a win!

We have all the admin to get done tomorrow, so it means waking up early for nothing fun.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 62 – Day 3: Bland Bay – Secret Cave!

We left the hotel nice and early, around 07:30 and then drove to McDonald’s to get a spot of breakfast.

After breakfast, we drove a car park over to the supermarket where we got some meat for the BBQ.

We left the supermarket and made the drive down to Bland Bay. A lot of the roads were gravel, but it was good fun! It was a straight road for 100km, so it was at least easy.

We got out to Bland Bay and just chilled out for a few hours in the blazing sun. It was delightful!

We were then told about a cave that we had to see in person as it was beautiful! With that, we all hopped on the boat and headed out there. The waves were causing our boat to bounce all over the place which waa great fun!

We arrived at the small, secluded beach and it was stunning!

We then had a look at the stream leading to the cave, which was also filled with rocks and seaweed, and it was quite choppy, with big waves rushing in.

That being said, we eventually started making our way out into the water, consistently getting stabbed by the sharp rocks. Josh then said he saw a stingray, which froze us both and we decided we weren’t moving!

We waited a while and saw nothing, so all got moving again. We swam the last part into the cave and it was well worth it! Unfortunately, we didn’t get any good photos of it, but there was a deep pool of water with light perfectly shining onto it from above. Beautiful!

We got in the water and chilled a little, before we got back out and had to make the treacherous swim back.

The swim was actually ok, but we did get stabbed by multiple rocks again.

We got back on the boat and headed back to the house.

We then got the BBQ going and Josh cooked up a storm! Once we ate our food, we had some games of Cards Against Humanity and Josh sent out the Contiki to catch some fish.

As they were bringing it back in, there must’ve been a shark on it, or two, as the power pulled the whole whinch down the bank and the contiki went underwater! There was a made dash to pull it in and it eventually relaxed, but most of the hooks were gone from the line! Another eventful weekend here so far!

We packedup the outside after this and then went inside for some sleep, after we got some great night photos!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 69 – Day 3: Kaitaia – Te Paki Sand Dunes, The Top of NZ & Spirits Bay

Post breakfast, we were in the car and driving further up north! By 09:00, we were on our way and it was already getting warm!

We drove 1.5 hours up north to get to Te Paki stream. Here, in the middle of nowhere, there are giant sand dunes! Kim had read online that you can rent a ‘sandboard’ and go sandboarding on the dunes.

Once we arrived, we got ourselves a couple of sandboards and headed up the dunes. We were advised to go right to the highest dune to get a great view and then slide back down, which is what we did. What we didn’t realise was how incredible steep all of the dunes are and the effort it takes to get to the top, including getting sand blown in your face all the time!

Kim struggling with the dune!

We did get some amazing views at the top of the highest dune, which we soaked in whilst we relaxed after the tiresome climb!

The first sandboard down looked very high but wasn’t very fast at all.

We then went down the next hill, which was smaller but had way more speed and was great fun!

Luckily, as we were leaving, the sun got much warmer, so it was the perfect timing!

We had a drink and then drove from here to Cape Reinga, which is the top most point of New Zealand. Once we got here, we parked and walked down to the lighthouse, seeing the amazing views on the way. Apparently, two different oceans combine at this point also, which is what we assume the waves in the middle of the sea are!

We walked back to the car after seeing the lighthouse and drove to a beach over a gravel road, which took a while! The beach was called spirits bay and it was beautiful! We sat and ate our homemade ham, beef, cheese & salad sandwiches and then got back to the car to drive back to the apartment.

We chilled out for a while whilst we recovered from our tiredness and then we got back in the car and drove to the town to find food. We got a kebab each, which was an odd thing to choose but was delicious!

We watched a cabin restoration TV show and some other TV and then got packed up to leave tomorrow morning.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 380: Auckland – Fresh New Locks, Damn Cars & Arcade Games

We were up at 07:45 so Kim could go out for breakfast with Kelsey & Liz as a ‘goodbye’ meetup. They chatted for a while and then Kim walked back to the hostel, stopping to get Curtis some breakfast on the way.

We watched some TV whilst Curtis ate his croissant and drank his coffee.

Post breakfast, Curtis went for a shower and got ready to go out.

Kim had an appointment to go to in Birkenhead, so we drove out to there, which surprisingly to us only took us 15 minutes!

We took a bag of clothes that we no longer want as well as some other stuff and the first port of call was to drop that at a charity shop. The first place we went to wasn’t taking donations but the second was, so we left it there and that is one less thing to do.

We then walked towards where Kim needed to go and Curtis spotted a barber that seemed nice so he went in there to get a haircut. After a short wait, Curtis was seen as got a fresh new look, exactly how he likes it.

Kim was not finished with her appointment, so Curtis wandered around Birkenhead to kill some time.

Once Kim was done, we went to the car and noticed that the engine warning light was on, which was typical when we’re just about to sell it! After checking the oil, it seems we were a little low, so we drove to a shop and bought some more to put in. We put enough in but it was still showing the light. The resident mechanic at the parts shop said we can get the ECU checked to see what the error codes are, but they can’t do it at their store at the moment, so we’d need to drive to the other end of town to get it done. We called ahead and it was Ok to go, so we drove across town for 25/30 minutes to get this done.

The staff had trouble finding our car model on the system for some reason, but eventually found it and scanned the ECU. The first attempt crashed the tablet and the 2nd attempt said there were 3 errors but showed no codes or descriptions! The recommendation was to take it to a mechanic, so we will need to, but none are open until Monday!

After this news, we met up with Josh and Danielle very local to where we were to get some food and watch a movie.

The restaurant Josh wanted to go to, as his birthday celebration, was no longer there, so we had to choose something else.

We found a pretty new chicken & ribs place. We both shared 1/4 chicken with hot sauce and 1/2 pound of ribs with some kumara fries whilst Josh had ribs and tatertots and Danielle ate a cheeseburger and curly fries. It was all pretty good food, but didn’t blow us away. Probably a 6.5/10.

We finished up and went to the cinema, about an hour early! We spent some time in the arcade just playing some games. Kim and Danielle played against each other in the basketball and then Josh wiped the floor with Curtis at it.

After basketball, we played against each other in a hard fought battle of bubble hockey! It went to overtime with Curtis winning with a lucky goal.

Josh and Danielle then raced each other on the racing game and the winner gets a free game, which was awesome! Josh then played about 6 free races and people kept coming and going and he kept winning! This kept us entertained until the film.

We watched the film ‘instant family’ which was meant to a comedy but was pretty sad/heartwarming. A very good film, actually!

We left the cinema quite late, came back to the hostel and now here we are. Looking forward to sleeping!

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