Place 60 – Day 7: Rotorua – Government Gardens & Night Luge

We had a leisurely morning this morning, after our skydive.

Tom was out fairly early, making use of the last day of cycling whilst the rest of us relaxed.

Kim and Maggie eventually went out to the centre of Rotorua where there is a big garden area called Government Gardens. They walked around this for a while in the incredible warmth past the big house as well as Lake Rotorua and then went for a coffee and a sit down.

Tom arrived back at the house whilst Curtis was there watching hockey and then he cycled his bike back to the shop, getting picked up on the way back by Kim and Maggie.

Eventually, we all went out for a spot to eat at a Thai place in the city, which was pretty good, but still not as good as Thailand!

We went from here to the luge place where we paid for 5 rides each for a discounted price as it was ‘night rides’.

We spent a couple of hours here as it was surprisingly busy! It was really good fun and we even did the hardest run, which was certainly next level. We got some nice photos of the sunset whilst waiting for the luge, too!

We left the luge place around 21:30 and drove home via McDonald’s to get an ice cream.

Once we got back we packed up as it is our last night here in Rotorua before we drive back to Auckland tomorrow.

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 5: Rotorua – Mountain Lunch, Impromptu Luge-Ing & Blue Lake

We had to be up at a pretty good time so we could get to the gondola for 12:30.

We met some friends of Kim’s parents there as they had booked a lunch in the restaurant at the top of the mountain.

Once we all arrived, we went on the cable car to the top and entered the restaurant. The food was a big buffet, with multiple areas including salads, curries, roast meat and vegetables and dessert.

We sat and chatted for a long while whilst ensuring we ate as much as we could!

Once we left the restaurant we eventually decided we wanted to do a quick luge run, so we did so. It was great fun and us two had a great battle in which Curtis came out on top .

We left there and drove to blue lake. Unsurprisingly by the name, this is a lake of which is blue. We walked in the water a little and then sat and chatted for a while in the very warm heat!

We said goodbye and drove back home. We were so warm, but we went to the supermarket just to get suncream as we were running out.

We chilled for the evening and had bacon, eggs, beans and toast for dinner.

Pretty early start tomorrow, with a very fun and scary day!

This time last year!

Poroporoaki!

– Mr & Mrs Hale

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 49 & 60 – Day 251 & Day 2: Auckland & Rotorua – Luge

We woke up and all got ready before having a ‘breakfast BBQ’ (which was just sausages).

Once done with breakfast, we drove 10 or so minutes down the road to an adventure park where we decided to go on the luge!

We bought 3 rides each and hopped into the cablecar up the mountain. This went quite high, actually!

Way_Up_View_Luge
The View On The Way Up

We each took three turns on the on the luge. The first time, we went into the easiest course. For the other two, we went to the intermediate course which was much faster and harder.

During our second run, we almost crashed into a group of people who had stopped on one of the fastest parts of the track, which was dangerous!

Our third run was event free but much faster which was great fun if not a little scary.

After each run, we had to take a stair lift back to the top, which was quite high and slow.

After we finished the luge, which was incredibly fun, we had a 3 hour drive back to Auckland.

Way_Down_View
The View On The Way Down

Once we got back to Auckland, we dropped off the campervan and got a taxi back to our place, where we picked up baggage and each drove family to their next accommodation, which is a house in Campbell’s Bay.

We got moved in there and went for a quick shop for dinner. Kim made sweet chilli fried beef stir fry and it was delicious!

We went to bed early (ish) and watched the first episode of the Great British Bake Off just before crashing and heading to bed.

We are up fairly early again tomorrow with more fun planned!

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