I’m sorry it took me so long to finally sit down and carry on with the posts about my holiday in New Zealand. Real life, you know … But it’s definitely time to share some experiences (right from my travel journal) and photos after my Middle Earth Edition! So I decided to split it up into six parts for each week of my holiday. So let’s begin with week # 1 🙂
Airplane. Everything feels quite surreal: Eating Chicken Tandoori at about midnight, watching Poldark … and that on a plane to New Zealand. Too afraid to watch The Hobbit because I might grin and/or cry like mad. First six hours of the flight were quite good and calm, but the next 14 hours to Australia were exhausting. Noisy which means I didn’t sleep much. Don’t remember much of the last three hours to Auckland. I still remember breakfast and the filling in of the arrival card, and then there was already the landing approach. I missed some time … By the by: I try not to think too much about crossing different time zones … makes my brain hurt.
Arrival at the airport went quite smoothly. Was rewarded with the sight of a dwarven statue in the arrival hall. Feels good to be finally here …
Check-in in my booked hotel. Got out to get a water bottle and something for breakfast next day. And then … bed!!!
Day 1: Auckland
Slept almost until midday. Took a stroll through the city: Myers Park, Aotea Square, Albert Park, University, Winyard Quarter. A Kiwi addressed me when I was in Albert Park, asking if I was on a walk. So so nice! Had some trouble to understand his accent, though …
Had some late lunch at the waterfront. Sun was shining, and it was absolutely lovely. Still tired, however, and went to bed early (again).
Day 2: Auckland
Took the ferry to Devonport and joined a round trip. Amazing views of Auckland’s skyline. Had a disgraceful defeat in the fight men against nature … But that damned sea gulls were staring at my fish & chips!!! And I’m sure one of them got closer whenever I turned away from it …
Relaxing walk at the beach. Barefoot! Absolutely gorgeous.
Spend the evening with a nice cup of tea at the Sky Tower, watching the sunset. I think I understood for the first time that I’m really in New Zealand. Feels perfect.
Day 3: Auckland
Organized my rental car; I can pick it up tomorrow. Auckland Domain und museum. I learned that I shouldn’t go in museums when I’m alone … My imagination is too vivid, I can’t leave a hall with a mummy without looking over my back. Brrr. Followed by a bus tour around the city.
Day 4: Coromandel Peninsula
Drove on the left side of the street for the first time in my life. Woo-hoo! And didn’t went too bad … Short stop in Thames. Stopped many many times on my way to Coromandel Town to take lots of photos. Every bay prettier than the next, unbelievable. Warm sunshine, sea … happy sigh. Overnight stay in Whitianga. Another barefooted walk at the beach. Another happy sigh.
Day 5: Coromandel Peninsula
Went to Cathedral Cove. Warm weather again, and beautiful sights. Had a little accident on the way back, though: I stumbled on the rocks of Gemstone Bay. Some bruises, and I think the girls that were there at the same time were more shocked than I was. Confused my plans, though, and Hot Water Beach was deserted when I arrived. Moved on to Waihi to stay there overnight. Had no problems with my arm while driving, but I could hardly get out of my shirt in the evening …
Day 6: Matamata/Rotorua
Oookay. Who cares about a bruised arm when you’re standing in Hobbiton?? And know that that’s Bag End up there?? No fit of weeping or other breakdown, I’m quite proud of myself. Or maybe I just can’t get that I really was there, standing in front of Bilbo’s door and having a drink in the Green Dragon Inn …
Drove on to Rotorua and spent the evening in the Polynesian Spa. Met a nice guy who was interested in European history. Was totally excited about my knowledge of German studies, and I could have talked with him for hours.
Day 7: Rotorua
Woke up rather late and thus felt a bit disorganized. Actually planned to go on a trip to the thermal area, but drove to the historic Maori village Whakarewarewa instead – definitely a good decision, it was fascinating! Saw a cultural performance (with haka!!), a guided tour through the village, and a hangi meal at that. Great day, and the drizzle only added to the charm of the geysirs and hot springs.
Bought a greenstone pendant for my mother there – almost cried when the seller told me this: The Maori believe that a part of the wearer gets into the greenstone, and the person thus lives on in it. I feel a bit emotional in general … Maybe I need some time to work up all the impressions.
Night in Whakatane. Had a room above an Irish pub, but decided for a quiet night.
… And that was week 1! I try to be quicker with my next update 🙂 We will start the trip around the East Cape!