The day Hannah got lost in the woods! & other stories!!

Auckland Travel Blog

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Well we arrived in Auckland today, but for now will fill you in on our Christmas and New Year in Rotorua!

On christmas eve, eve, we visited the aquatic centre with phil and deb, etc, which is a swimming complex with indoor and outdoor pools and spas.  Then on Christmas eve they took us to the Skyline Skyrides and Gondolas (cable cars!!).  We went up in the Gondolas, with great views of Rotorua, then me, jim and deb went on the Sky swing (i got to pull the release mechanism at the top!). It hoisted us up into the air and we swung over the cliff edge at 150km ph, held only by two pieces of wire attatched to some scaffolding!!  As jim said, he got to release the swing which debbie cursed him for!!

Next we went on the luge (go karts on speed!!) which was fun and there were 3 different tracks to choose from (i got to sit in the luge ranger-mobile!!)  I suffered an injury at the bottom of the track after our second ride (some chubby little scouser slammed into her!)! My ankles got trapped between 2 luges and i've still got the bruise - the size of my hand - to prove it!!!

We went back to Phil and Debs for the night where we had a bbq and lots of alcohol (then I had my little mishap :( ), and Jim decided to vomit on me (in the tent :( ) during his sleep (it tasted like ginger beer :( )!!! In his fairness he hadn't been well, but he could have aimed the other way!

The next day was CHRISTMAS!!!!!!! and we got up feeling a little worse for wear! But that didn't stop us, and we opened our prezzies with everyone (which was a bit more chaotic than our families usual ordered systems!), then had an amazing seafood bbq for lunch (there was garlic and lemon shrimp, oysters with cheese and bacon and mussels. i was in heaven!) :D followed by a trip to lake rotorua where we went for a swim (thats right folks, swimming in a lake on christmas day)!  On our return to the house we had a little nap which was followed by a traditional Christmas dinner!

We stayed over for a 2nd night at phil and debs, this time minus the vomit (sorry about that), and spent boxing day at the blue lake (Lake Tikitapu), where we hired kayaks and spent an hour paddling on the lake :D

Boxing day was followed by a cheeky sunday cinema viewing (might aswell as we had the chance, and actually got Han to watch Avatar)! And that day was followed by a day trip to Ahope beach with its awesome waves and nearly black sand (and shark that phil saw while we were in the water!!).

As Jim had been longing to do the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, which is a trek over 2 volcanoes, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngarruhoe (MOUNT DOOM BABY!), the mountain used in Lord of the Rings Trilogy, we travelled down to Taupo with Alex and Lauren (Debs son and girlfriend), in the hope we could all do the crossing.  We arrived and booked on the tour to do it, only for Jim to have his dream shattered an hour later by the windy weather (alas she is my moby dick for she has eluded me :( ).  The sadness was short lived for we decided to head up the hill and do a tandem bungy (which just so happened to be the most exhilarating thing i'd done..... at the time!)!!  It was awesome and the highest water touch bungy in New Zealand.  Although we asked to be dunked in the river upto our waists, theres no guarantee, and we were short by an arms lenghth :( never mind though, as jim dunked his head over the side of the boat that collected us (the kiwi man on the dinghy said "nice water touch bro"!!)!!!!!!!!!!

New Years eve we headed back to Rotorua, and went with Phil and Deb to their friends house in Napier (which was an amazing setting where we met some nice people), passing a few vineyards along the way.  We spent the evening having a fire and bbq on the beach, drinking and watching the fireworks in the town across a stretch of the sea (Tony one of the hosts had the biggest shed i've ever seen it was like a warehouse!...... oh and he had a jet ski which is awesome!).  It was FAB!

New Years Day, we headed back to rotorua and stopped off at Kerosene creek along the way.  Its a hot water spring in the middle of nowhere that you can bathe in, and its hotter than a very hot bath!!!!!!!! (And that heat occurs naturally :S ) Couldn't stay in for too long as it makes you dizzy!

So, the next day we went to the redwoods, a massive forest with many tracks, for a run.  I decided to walk the track as running is too much effort! So Jim, Phil, etc ran on ahead (really fast and downhill aswell :S ) and said they'd wait for me along the track.  As I plodded down the track I came to a junction, so of I went to the left, and continued my plodding (little did she know we went right!).  I carried on walking through the redwoods, coming to junctions and taking the direction my gut told me (meanwhile we were waiting for her to arrive at the large clearing we had stopped at, and oblivious to her mis-direction I aimlessly continued making crap bird noises much to the amusement of phils sons!) until I realised I'd well and truely lost everyone and thought I should try and head back the way I came (a long time had passed and Phil had gone back to look for Han with no luck, so we split into 2 teams, and mine headed back the way we came and using my boyfriend sense and acute tracking skills managed to find her!).  After an hour or so of wandering, I heard voices and to my delight on the path ahead, emerged Jim and his search party (I wasn't scared or worried though mainly because hannah had all of the sandwiches and as anyone that knows us, would know thats enough to last a week).  Yeah right, they'd be gone within minutes!!!!  Anyway, safe and sound we all headed back to the car :D

With that crisis averted we continued the next days at a more leisurely pace!  We cycled to the ZORB place and went ZYDRO (a zorb filled with water and no harnesses - a zorb for those that don't know is a big inflatable ball that is rolled down a hill with people in it!)!!  It was really good fun and we got totally drenched but is over in seconds!  On that evening Dad arrived (Hannah's not mine!) and we went out for food and drinks.

The next day Dad, jim and I visited Ohinemutu, a Maori Village and later that night we booked our SKYDIVE for tomorrow!!!

So tomorrow came and Dad drove us to Taupo, the place where Mt Doom is (i always get my man - if I can't walk over it i'll view it from 15,000ft in the air!)!  We got kitted out, I asked if there was a safety briefing to which my jump master replied "ha, this is New Zealand mate!", and took up in a plane to 15,000 feet where we hung our legs out of the moving plane and rolled off into thin air, forgetting to think 'banana' (I wasn't a banana either :( )!  It was AWESOME (the whole experience was the most amazing thing i've ever done!)!!!!!!!!!  On our way back to Rotorua we visited Wai-O-Tapu, a 'Geothermal Wonderland' (wonderful it was!) with mud pools, steam and craters galore (it really brought home the fact that you're on the top of an active volcano)!

A few days later we went with Dad to the races where we had a fun day with a picnic (steak and cheese sandwiches! Awesome!), betting on the horses.  This was followed by a trip to Te Puia, for a cultural Maori evening with singing, dancing, geysers and a traditional Hangi (FOOD!! Cooked underground on stones!)!!  Jim participated in learning the Haka onstage! And was VERY good (we needed to be 'strong', 'mean' and most of all 'ugly'! I was particularly good at ugly!).

Our last day in Rotorua and with Dad was enjoyed in Waitomo where we visited the Gloworm cave and Ruakuri cave, seeing lots of gloworms, viewed from foot and on boat, stalagmites and stalagtites (just like Dave Attenborough!), and were marched down a cave in the total pitch black! Scary (Awesome!)!  Dad treated us to a lovely meal on the evening at Urbano Bistro (quite literally the poshest place i've ever eaten!) which ended our lovely week :D

He drove us to Auckland today, where we eventually found our hostel, which again is nice!

Update you again soon guys, much love and miss you loads x

 

mommyb says:
It sounds amazing! You are so lucky, and as for the jumps I'm just so glad that I didnt know before hand I wouldnt have been able to sleep. We have still got loads of snow so it sounds weird when you talk about going swimming on Christmas day. love you both loads xxxxx
Posted on: Jan 11, 2010
dadpaul says:
sounds great guys,ive got vertigo and im not even there!loads of luv,take care xx
Posted on: Jan 11, 2010
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