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

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Place 49 – Day 273: Auckland – Leaving Meal

Curtis’ Day;

Curtis left the office with no cases again yesterday, so didn’t have any to do this morning.

Curtis had some admin work to get done a b d then the cases started flowing!

Curtis had a steady day which wasn’t too busy but not boring.

Curtis got home and waited for Kim to get home from work.

Both of us;

Once Kim got home, Curtis drove her to Takapuna as she had a leaving meal for her current manager.

Kim had a good time out for dinner. She had a range of food, including lemongrass wagyu sausage, beetroot buns and some delicious pork!

Once Kim was finished, Curtis drove down to pick her up.

Once we got home, Kim showered and then we went to sleep.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 49 – Day 272: Auckland – NHL19 & Tabitha Is Back!

Curtis’ Day;

Curtis got to work early and did his usual admin for the morning, as well as making himself a cup of coffee, as with every morning.

Curtis went out to two client sites at 10:00. The weather was not great when he left but as he was getting to the client it got really warm!

At the first client, Curtis tried to help with an on going issue with a speakerphone and a few other issues there.

After this, Curtis drove towards the airport to another client, where he spent an hour or so walking around and helping people out.

After getting back to the office, Curtis had lunch and then didn’t do much in the afternoon and left a little earlier.

Curtis got home and played NHL19 for a while as it just came out today!

Both of us;

Kim got home from work and went to the gym.

Once Kim got home, she went out with Tabitha the some dinner for both of us and Tabitha.

We had Japanese food from renkon which does excellent food!

Kim spent some time with Tabitha and then we watched some videos.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

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

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!