Wednesday, April 27, 2016

New Zealand - RV days

For spring break we decided to take a trip to New Zealand after talking with friends who have done some trips to lots of places.  After deciding our destination I convinced Jon we should RV through the country like one of our friends had the previous year.  Once I got him on board I got together with my friend and asked her a few questions and came up with a game plan for the trip.  We rented our camper van though Wilderness which is a campervan company in New Zealand that allows you to freedom camp.  There is something exciting about loading up a campervan with just a general idea of what you want to do but no real plans.
Day 1 - We camped at HH3 a supposedly pristine beach overlooking Kawhia Harbour.  Yeah well behind it was a big sign that said Danger mine field, to our right was an active quarry and in the van was me that refused to get out after seeing those.  For Jon's birthday dinner we had Nutella and PB tortillas because I was not sure we would camp there.  Since it was already dark and I wasn't really  into driving around all night trying to find a back up place to stay we slept there.  In the morning we were woken up by unhappy miners so we hit the road pretty early to our next adventure.
Day 2 - We visited Waitomo and the Glow Worm Caves and did a short hike in the area and then drove down to Lake Taupo.  The Glow worm caves where an amazing tour and the hikes around the area were so nice.  It was the start of the fall season there so it was starting to get cool which was a nice change for us.  The amount of green grass and mountains was beautiful the winding roads.  At Lake Laupo we stayed at a Top 10 Holiday Resort which was AMAZING!  it has a heated swimming pool, jumping pillow, playground, trampolines.  After a few miles of hiking the girls were super excited to get to swim in the heated pool which had a movie playing so we spent 4 hours in it just hanging out and relaxing.  After looking at the brochures and knowing how much we loved the holiday park we booked a second night in this area.
Day 3 - We found Huka Falls and spent the day hiking around this area, playing at the playgrounds and then going back to the holiday park to swim again.
Day 4 - We hit the road and headed north to Rotorua.  I had been really excited to try the Skyline Luge and it was as fun as we thought it would be.  It did take us  a lot longer to do this since we had to take turns because every girl needed an adult because Molly's broken elbow made it so she couldn't go on her own.  After a few hours of going down the luge we went to the Whakarewarewa Village which is situated on top of a Geyser and over a few fault lines.  The village cooks their food in the hot springs which the entire area is built around.  The girls did not enjoy the hot springs because they thought it smelled like rotten eggs.  After that culture experience we took the girls to that nights resting ground the Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park.  At this park there were chickens running loose and the pools were too hot to stay longer than 20 minutes in so we decided not to swim that day.
Day 5 - We saw a flyer about The Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest.  We drove over there walked around the forest and decided to do the tree top walk.  4 of the 5 of us enjoyed this and 1 person did not want to be with us after the 3 set of bridges.  To finish off this day we drove to Matamata where the Hobbiton Moive Set is.  We toured where the filmed the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings - at least the hobbit village with Bill Bo Baggins house.  The girls enjoyed this because the houses were mostly there size.  To finish the tour we got to sit down for drinks at the Green Dragon.  That night we found  Miranda Holiday Park which had a hot mineral pool. 
Day 6 - our last day with the camper we stayed late at our holiday park then found some play grounds to play at and then drove back to check in our car and go to the airport for our flight home.

We enjoyed our time in  New Zealand!!

Birthday Boy driving

Books can lie - did not feel safe here

PB & Nutella - YUM

Beautiful black sand beaches - just don't get out or look any other way

Finally allowed out of the camper

Getting ready for our tour

Look mom 

The caves just kept going

The natural bridge

Hiking it not so bad

Cooked food

Swimming and a movie in a heated pool

Enjoying the great out doors

The playgrounds were so fun

Jumping pillows - broken elbow or not there is no slowing her down

Before our 6.5 mile hike

They still liked the hike as of now

Huka Falls

Huka Falls

Breaking it to them we have to walk all the way back to the campervan

Lots of snack breaks on the way back

Take a picture of just me please - ok!

Molly the cast girl

exhausted - fell asleep like this

Getting ready to Luge!

Kelly loved it

Dinner at the luge

Why build on this mom - it smells like rotten egg

The oven they use

Family baths behind the girls

Feeling the ground  - its hot

The Geyser errupting

They were amazed - ok well they were there

game nights

Chasing the crazy chickens at the camp site

Redwoods in Rotorua

Someone was less than happy that day

On the bus to see the Hobbit Movie Set

Our last Mineral Hot Spring Pool

Jon's least favorite part of the experience - Emptying the toilet cassette

On the road home!