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

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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

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

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!

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

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

Place 49 – Day 250: Auckland – Chicken Feast & Planning

Curtis’ Day;

Curtis had to get a lot done today as it was his last day for 1.5 weeks!

Curtis worked hard all morning and was surprised when it was already 12:00!

Curtis was so hungry, so he went out to buy some food. On the way, he saw Josh so he stopped and had a quick chat.

Soon after, Curtis got to the place he bought lunch from. Curtis ordered a chicken burger and chips which was quite tasty (though there was cucumber in the burger which is odd) though it took 25 minutes to make for some reason, and they weren’t busy, either!

Curtis at that whilst he did some work that he needed to get sorted.

Curtis had all cases re-assigned to other people by about 16:00 and left the office at 16:30. He walked down to the apartments to see his family again, but this time the weather was much nicer!

Curtis chatted with them about their day as they went to a volcano island!

Both of us;

Kim left work late and then had to Uber down to the apartments but she got to us eventually and we went out for dinner!

We walked to the viaduct and went to a place that Lisa found called ‘Dr Rudis’. This was a bar/brewery/restaurant.

We arrived and there wasnt really anywhere for us to sit to start with, but we found a spot eventually.

The music was a bit loud but the food on the menu sounded good.

We got a chicken sharing platter and two pizzas, as well as beer.

Chicken_Platter_Dr_RudisThe Excellent Chicken Platter

We are all of our food and then made our way back to the apartment.

On the way, we got another great view of the sky tower!

Sky_Tower_2_Auckland

We got back to the apartment and had some planning to do! We’re off on a fun trip for the next week, which you’ll hear more about tomorrow. Its exciting and should be a lot of fun and an adventure.

We left the apartment, walked to the car and walked home.

When we got home, we packed for our trip and then got some sleep! Kim actually has to work for an hour tomorrow morning before we leave.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale