~ Auckland & Waikato~
We had a few things to do before we went into the city like buying and stuff to camp as we had decided we were going to camp the whole of New Zealand. We went to one of the “everything” shops, you know a bit of camping, a bit of DIY a few candles and soaps etc. We got a tent for $20 which I’m pretty sure is like a kids play tent or something you use for the beach.. or indoor activities anyway we got this because obviously we thought we were getting an absolute deal, we also got a few plastic plates and cups, a thin piece of foam for our bed and a duvet. When we loaded everything into the car we then went into the city centre for lunch.
When we got into the city we realised how big it really was! After a massive travel day and sleeping in the airport for 8 hours we were a little big aggravated and tired. We decided to park up, get some lunch, go for a quick walk around the city and then set off to our campsite which was about an hours drive away. We picked this specific location because it was secluded and in the bush!
Ok so remember earlier how I said we scored a tent for $20… well jokes on us, it did infect rain the whole night and we got absolutely soaked, also James couldn’t even fit in the tent so his feet were poking out the bottom (HAHAHAHA). Its funny to laugh now because the tragedy is over but at the time it was horrible! We ended up taking the tent back to the store saying it was broken and it leaked, they did say this wasn’t for outside use but it didn’t say it anywhere on the tent packaging so we managed to get our money back and spoilt ourselves to a $50 tent.
~ Hahei ~
At the tip of the North Island there is a place called hot water beach, where you basically sit on the beach, dig a hole and sit in a hot hole of water on the beach, you have to do this when the tide is out otherwise the beach where you dig will be underwater. It was pouring with rain when we went and the tide was in so we didn’t get to do this but we did enjoy the beach and the little village that came with it.
After the failed mission at hot water beach we went to cathedral cove. Super beautiful, it is literally picture perfect. Make sure you bring your swimwear and towels, it was pretty chilly when we were there but we went for a little dip just to say we swam at cathedral cove haha.
~ Waitomo ~
Waitomo is where the glow worms are! You neeeeeed to get to the waitomo caves when going to New Zealand, the glow worm tour is so pretty! Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to take any photos when you go into the caves but the glow doesn’t even come out on photograph anyway so its not a big deal and with this its better being in the moment just admiring the caves and all the glowworms that light it up. Definitely a must do, you will regret it if you miss it!
~ Hobbiton/waikato ~
This is James’s favourite place in the whole world. If you are a big lord of the rings fan then you would have already put this place at the top of your list. Hobbiton is where the lord of the rings was filmed, you have to get a tour to see it, you can’t just wander around on your own. It’s pretty spectacular, everything is so well preserved and whether you’re a lord of the ring fan or not this place will definitely spark some joy in your heart! The tickets are about £45 each, we picked the first tour of the day which I believe was 10am.
~ Lake Okereka & Lake Taupo ~
Lake Okereka was just a lake we camped at just outside Rotorua after visiting hobbiton, it was absolutely stunning, the sunset was a dream and we got to watch it all from our tent.
The next day we wanted to go to a place called “Hakka Falls”, we had heard good reviews about it and we were expecting a waterfall. When we got there it was a huge waterfall, the water was gushing at god knows how many miles an hour. It was crystal blue water which was being churned up as it made its way to the waterfall. Bloody stunning to see!
Whilst we were in this area we also came across some natural hot springs on our maps.me app, we went for a little hike to see if there was anything worthwhile and there was! A cute little spot with hot little rock pools, for anyone to use, thank you Mother Nature! Quick note here – its pretty muddy so if you’re looking for somewhere to bath this is not the place, as we found out haha!
~ Rotorua ~
The town that smells like rotten eggs! This town is full of activities and adventurous things to do, you can go white water rafting, abseiling you name it. The one thing you will notice when you come into the town is that it smells like rotten eggs and that is because of the geysers that are in this city. They are pretty cool to go and see, you get used to the smell after a while, it is super fascinating watching them bubble and explode.
It’s a pretty spread out place to visit so I would definitely recommend going by the water and having a walk along there. There’s also loads of restaurants and pubs to choose from and its a pretty lively place.
We ended up staying at a free campsite just outside Rotorua, It was a beautiful location but very very busy! We had to squeeze our little tent and car into a spot surrounded by other people. Luckily we were small enough to fit next to the river which is what everyone wanted. The drop toilets at this campsite were worse than vial, I can’t even describe to you the amount of bugs that were inside the toilet and how bad it smelt!
~ Rimutaka Forest Park ~
This day was basically just a day of driving, we were appreciating all the scenery whilst heading to our next campsite. This one we had to pay for, it was up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere but it only cost about $6.
It has hot showers and toilets so we decided we would treat ourselves! It was one of the coldest nights in the tent, we had to sleep in one sleeping bag and wear everything we had in our backpacks. As we were getting further south we realised how cold it was going to be on the South Island and that we would probably be sleeping in the car!
~ Wellington ~
If you’re thinking about flying into wellington, I am telling you now it’s a bad idea. This is the windiest city ever!!!! James had been lead to believe that a mountain just outside Wellington was where some of the Lord of the Rings had been filmed. We hiked this mountain for an hour before he sadly decided that this wasn’t where it had been filmed, it was nice to use our legs after being trapped in the car all day anyway.
The city is really nice and clean, it’s right by the ocean and has a big harbour. We hadn’t really treated ourselves to a nice meal or drink out so whilst we were by the harbour we decided to get a few drinks. We were actualy here to get the ferry from the North Island to the South Island. This takes about 3 and a half hours and the only time they could fit us in was the 8pm ferry. James was soooo sick on this boat trip, he didn’t realise how sea sick he could get. At one stage we went and stood outside in the freezing cold whilst he got some fresh air.
When it was time to dock we all had to get into our cars. We were so tired we both looked at each other and said “We can’t fall asleep!”. The next thing we know we have someone knocking on our window telling us to drive because we had fallen asleep and holding up half of the ferry. Safe to say we pulled over straight away after getting off the ferry and fell asleep in the car.