Week 9

DAY 57
Monday 27/3/06

Wellington to Rotorua today.
Johnsonville, Porirua, Mana, Pukerua Bay, Paekakariki, Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Otaki, Levin, Shannon, Tokomaru, Linton, Massey University, Palmerston Nth, Awahuri, Sanson, Bulls, Mount View, Hunterville, Ohingaiti, Flat Hills Tea Rooms, Mangaweka, Taihape, Waiouru, Turangi, Motuoapa, Te Rangiita, Mission Bay (Lake Taupo), Moututere Bay, Waitahanui, Taupo, Wairakei, Golden Springs, Reporoa Turn Off, Waiotapu, Rotorua

I reached Rotorua 2 hours late 'cos the bus did break down this time. Left at 8am and didn't get in 'till 5pm, should have been 3-ish.

Staying at the Kiwi Paka YHA in Rotorua. Wellington was good but it's raining here, still not liking it much. Doing a tour of Rotarua tomorrow, so I'll see all the important things then.

I'm going to Tauranga I think for a couple of days.

DAY 58
Tuesday 28/3/06

Went on a Maori trip today and saw the hot springs, the geyser, a few lakes and a Maori buried village, very good day even though it is pouring with rain. Our guide Edin is originally from Rotarua (which means the second little lake -- I think that's what he said). Two older couples from USA, a young couple from Portugal and a girl from Denmark and me, a good size, good group.
DAY 59
Wednesday 29/3/06

Rotorua to Tauranga
Rotarua to Tauranga - 1¾ hours
Rotorua 3:10pm - Rotorua Airport - Okere Falls - Paengaroa - Te Puke - Bayfair-Mt Maunganui - Mt Maunganui - Tauranga 4:55pm

Tauranga YHA
I'm in Tauranga now on the Bay of Plenty, which is a lie 'cos there's not plenty off shops near the hostel, I could even go as far as to say there are none. I might have to move somewhere else in a day rather than stay here at the Tauranga YHA . It's the worst NZ YHA hostel I've been in, lovely place but it seems as if it's a drop in centre so I don't feel that safe here, lots of cash converter bags which is not a good sign but I'll see properly tomorrow what to do.

DAY 60
Thursday 30/3/06

Still not at all happy here but unfortunately I have paid for 3 nights stay in the hostel but might even move on and lose my money. I am now trying to find some shops so that I can buy some food as there is nothing near the hostel.

The hostels in NZ are not run on the same business way that they are in Oz. Here the reception is only open at various times of the day and you have to carry your rucksack about as there is no security and the residents are a bit dodgy. In Oz you could book holidays, leave your bags, go to the in-house cafe at any time of the day, really good and helpful.

My next move when it comes is to Coromandel. It's at the top of the peninsula at the Bay of Plenty and there is a narrow guage railway for tourists which looks quite interesting, so here's hoping.
DAY 61
Friday 31/3/06

Visited Hobbiton today. It was a good tour, not quite as good as the last LOTR tour but it was good to see the village with all the wee houses as they were in the photos and as they have been left as shells in the hill side. Again this is on private ground so you only see it if you go on the tour.

I Booked Hamilton hostel and Coromandel hostel last night and also booked the rest of my trips buses today. Seemingly you can't get to Coromandel on Intercity or Newmans buses, so I had to pay another $34 to do this part of the trip, a bit deceiving 'cos it's in the timetable they gave me that it did. I think I just got someone on the phone who didn't know what they were doing, so I will phone back up in a couple of days and hopefully get someone else.

Good day today but can't wait to leave, not just here, but NZ.
DAY 62
Saturday 1/4/06

Just out of the rugby, Chiefs v Highlanders. Chiefs are the local team so I was a Chief tonight. The Highlanders are from the South Island so it was a bit like a Celtic v Rangers game.
When the players were warming up one of the kickers booted the ball and it bounced way up and I caught it with one hand 'cos I had my camera in the other and the crowd cheered and when I threw it back to the guy some people behind my row said I should be on the field tonight. I just laughed but boy I felt good.
DAY 63
Sunday 2/4/06

J's BackpachersNow in Hamilton and staying at J's Backpackers as they don't have a YHA hostel now as it closed last year. It's all right, but they don't supply blankets so I froze sleeping with my towel over me.

Visited the gardens in Hamilton today, beautiful, spent about three hours there, very peaceful.

Tomorrow I'm off to Coromandel until Wednesday, then Auckland. Checked on the buses again and it is really clever stuff. You can't get an Intercity or Newmans service as they don't go there but amazingly I can get one back.????

Later I walked down to the shops in the pouring rain to get a paper to see if there was any reviews of the rugby match, but picked up the Saturday one instead of the Sunday one.
Got back, sorted my washing, then packed my bags for movin' on. Went down to make dinner and while doing this, a girl from Norfolk came into the kitchen and I started talking to her. She was really nice and I spoke to her for a couple of hours then another couple from England that I briefly met the night before, came to the kitchen and we all spoke for another couple of hours. Went through to the lounge and watched a dvd called Identity, kind of a horror, so I don't know who moved closer first, me or Sonia. After the film Sonia made me a cup of tea and shared some wine then some lip smacking for a while and then bed, unfortunatly our own.
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The information on these pages is compiled from 'hot, off the press' text messages, emails and phone calls and may not be quite accurate but will be corrected later when confirmed