North Island tour begins

We really spoilt ourselves for our two nights in Wellington with accommodation at the Museum Hotel. Craig and I are both huge fans of Wellington and came very close to deciding to move there. We found the best Indian resturant we have ever been too (and we have been to many). We did a little shopping and then decided that we wanted to meet some locals. We posted an email to the SCA group in Wellington and ended our stay with fish and chips and lovely company (with other enthusiastic 14th century peoples).
After leaving Wellington, we headed to Taupo, it was a lovely drive that (as always) included a dip in beautiful Lake Taupo. I was sitting by the lake watching Craig swim around when I noticed what looked like a huge rock, floating in the water, I soon discovered (from the encylopedia that is my husband) that it was pumice stone. I was fascinated by the pumic stone everywhere after that, picking it up, breaking it open and throwing it into the water to watch it float, I was entertained 🙂

Once we reached Taupo we found ourselves some accommodation at a lovely Tudor style hotel across from the lake, compleate with our own private plunge pool, the hot water was fed straight from the surrounding hot springs and apparently has great healing potential. That day Craig decided to try and teach me to windsurf. It was a lot of fun (I have much better balance then him and if I could just figure out the whole direction thing I’d be great at it).

Most of our North Island tour ended up being unplanned activites. We ended up visiting the falls in Taupo. Somehow Craig convinced me to get in a jet boat! ***WARNING THIS IS A VERY FAST RIDE THAT IS FOR THRILL SEAKERS! THE BOAT DOES NOT ONE BY MANY MANY MULTIPLE 360 DEGREE TURNS, SWEARVES RIGHT NEXT TO TREE TRUNKS STICKING OUT OF THE WATER AND RIGHT UP TO THE EDGE OF CLIFFS! NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED** and thus not for me! I hated every minute of it except when the boat would stop (like at the foot of the falls) and Craig had a blast.

We really began to notice how much more energy I had these days when we did a walk around “The Craters of the Moon“. This was about a 45 minute walk around earth that oooozzzzzeeeeeddddd steam from everywhere. The space of land consumed by this rising heat expands every year. It was really something to see.

We left the next day and headed for Rotorua (with only one wrong turn to add another 1 hr of travel to the day *sigh*). Now Rotorua didn’t sound so bad, there was some very interesting things to see and do there, but WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME ABOUT THE SMELL! I spent the night with my head under the blankets because I couldn’t get to sleep from the smell.

But we did have a “cultural experience”, we saw bubbling mud, a geyser, a kiwi’s bum, and watched a welcoming ceremony. It was all very fascinating stuff. Oh and there was a really cool little paddle pool infront of the information centre with benches to sit on where we could rest our tirede footsies after long days of shopping and sight seeing.

Finally we headed to Auckland, where we would be spending our last two nights.