Place 60 – Day 4: Rotorua – Free Banh Mi!

We had a very lazy start to the day and we didn’t go out until around 13:00.

We just went for a walk in the centre of Rotorua whilst Tom cycled. The centre is quite smelly, due to the sulphur around the area, but we walked up and down the streets anyway, just looking around and taking in the sites.

We stopped at a Vietnamese cafe where us two and Maggie got a Vietnamese coffee and we both got a Banh Mi each too. When it was brought out, we had an extra Banh Mi, so Maggie got one free!

We left here, went to the shop and walked back to the car and chilled out when we got back home.

Tom got back from his mountain biking and we had some dinner. We just had salad, as we did yesterday.

We did absolutely nothing for the rest of the evening and itwas brilliant. We have plans, at least for the next couple of days, one of which is crazy!

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 66 – Day 1: Napier 🇳🇿 – Lack Of Sleep & Cold Sea

We got onto the boat and got right into bed in our cabin, planning to get to sleep as quick as possible.

Some of us slept well but Curtis only got about 30 minutes!

We were woken at 05:30 and had to grt up and ready to leave the ferry.

We got into the car and down the ramp into Wellington fairly quickly. Curtis wanted to take everyone to a cafe he went to in Wellington whilst there for work as they had humongous coffees and excellent food.

We arrived at the cafe and it looked a bit different, so it was already odd! We got XXL coffees, which are rightfully huge, and then looked at the menu, which was again different.

The XXL coffee (with a pepper shaker for size comparison)

We got some fairly adequate food from here and ate it, but it was no where near as good as Curtis remembered and had clearly been taken over by new owners.

We left here and got on the road towards Napier, where we are spending one night.

Once we eventually got to the AirBnB, noone was home and we couldn’t get hold of them, so we had to go out.

We went down to the beach where Kim had a swim in the very cold see and we took in the incredibly hot 35° sun.

We went back to the house and our host was in, so we met him and got aquainted with the house.

Curtis fell asleep for an hour or so, and so did Tom.

Kim and Tom went to the shop to get a little bit of food for dinner and then we sat out on the balcony looking at the tremendous views.

We plan to sleep early as noone really slept too much last night.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 65 – Day 1: Nelson 🇳🇿 – Antiques, Friend Meetup & Large Beach Stroll

We were up around 08:00 and got ready to leave Christchurch.

Once we left, in the incredible heat again, we drove on towards Murchison.

We had visited Murchison on our previous road trip so we knew how awesome it was and that we had to visit again!

The drive there was beautiful. Very hilly & scenic. This drive took around 3.5 hours.

We arrived in murchison and were a little confused at the amount of people as when we were previously there, it was almost empty!

The temperature was over 30°C, so it was certainly very hot. We were all rather peckish, so we found a place to eat. We all had a large coffee and a bite to eat. Kim had pancakes and Curtis had an eggs benedict.

We walked to the Antiques store which was just around the corner. There was an old car, type writers, old cash machines and lot of other items, all for sale!

We left the antique store and got back into the car.

We drove down to the campsite we stayed at last time to show Kim’s parents as it was a really nice area. We then drove onward to Nelson.

The drive to Nelson only took us a short amount of time. In Nelson, we visited Kim’s friend Matt. We met at his house, where we met Hannah, his partner.

We sat and chatted with them at their house for a little and then Tom and Matt did some mountain biking whilst we went with Maggie down to a beach.

The beach was very, very long and beautiful! The sand was perfect and the water was the perfect temperature.

We strolled along the beach, in the water, for a while and then went to get an ice cream. we got the standard ‘Mr Whippy’ ice creams, which didn’t last too long!

We walked back on the beach again, for a long while, eventually reaching the dog beach and petting all the dogs.

We left the beach eventually and walked over to a pub where we booked earlier in the day and sat down for some food.

We had to wait a while for Tom, Matt & Hannah to arrive, but once they did we were all very hungry and couldn’t wait for our meals.

We ordered but the food took over an hour to arrive! We shared a meat platter which was just OK.

We left here around 22:15 and said goodbye to Matt and Hannah. They were lovely and we’d love to keep in touch!

We then drove all the way to Picton, where we are catching a ferry at 02:15. We stopped én route to Picton and looked at the stars which were stunning.

We got to the ferry port and we will be boarding the ferry. Once we get onto the ferry, we will have a cabin to sleep in for 4 hours or so, and then we will be up around 06:30 to head off the ferry.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 54 – Day 12: Christchurch – Banks Peninsula, Akaroa & Christchurch Centre

We only left the apartment around 12:00 as we caught up on sleep from being awake late last night.

By the time we left, the weather had improved and we got into the car with some scorching sun!

We drove to Banks Peninsula which is around 1.5 hours away from Christchurch, up in the mountains. Google Maps took us to the top of a mountain, but we got exquisite views from there!

We drove from here down to Akaroa. Akaroa is a small french inspired town due to its 10th century French colonisation. Most of the shops and roads have French names and it felt just like being in France!

We needed some food, so found a cafe and got a coffee and cake. The coffee was pretty disappointing, but it was what we needed.

We left here and went to a shop where we got some ham and cheese and then went to a French bakery and got a baguette.

We sat on a park bench overlooking the harbour eating baguette with ham and cheese.

We walked around for a brief moment and then strolled back to the car.

We drove all the way back to Christchurch and got back to the apartment, briefly, and then got back outside and walked the 20 minutes to the city centre.

In the centre, we walked down a nice street which had a few shops on it, called New Regent Street.

We had the tram go past us, also. It was a nice old style tram!

Walking on from here, we went to the Botanic Gardens and saw a lot of big and unique trees.

We left the botanic garden and on the way back home, we came to one of the most affected areas from the 2011 earthquake.

There are few buildings here now, but there still stands the Christ Church Cathedral, which is one of New Zealand’s top historic buildings. Unfortunely, the earthquake tore large holes into this cathedral and so it is cordened off, though it is part of a restoration project, which is estimated to take 7-10 years.

We got back home via the supermarket and fish and chips shop (to get more chips) and we had some leftover chinese for dinner.

We sat and watched some TV before hitting the hay, with a long drive planned for tomorrow.

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

Place 64 & 54 – Day 2 & 11: Oamaru & Christchurch – Steampunk HQ & New Years Eve

We were up at a decent time as we had to leave the apartment at 10:00.

Curtis got some admin done in the morning before we all got ready and left.

We drove just down the road to the centre of Oamaru. In the centre, we saw a steam train and then the Steampunk HQ. This is where there is a big building with all Steampunk related items inside.

We spent a while there and saw a lot of odd and wonderful items!

There was an outside section in which we were able to mess around on things, including going inside the big bus.

Inside the bus, there was a ‘white room’. This room was a 10 minute projection of what was basically a bunch of optical illusions and music.

We left here and had a wander around the town. There were a lot of antiques and steampunk items around, which was good to kill some time.

We got back in the car and drove on towards Christchurch.

We stopped in Timaru for some food and then got back on the road to Christchurch.

We got to our apartment and relaxed, getting a chinese takeaway for dinner and watching TV.

We stayed up and watched the Auckland fireworks for the new year and then went to bed.

Happy New Year!

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