I’ve done a lot of different activities including; exploring Hobbiton, climbing in a glow-worm cave, volcanic park walks, bungy jumping and many more things. Let’s work through all the cool things I’ve done over the past few weeks.
The first thing on the list were the Glowworm caves! The stray bus took us to Waitomo. The place to be if you want to see some shiny worms. Unfortunately, we couldn’t bring our cameras so no pictures of the cave this time.
After signing our ‘at your own risk, you can get injured’ form, we were ready to go! We got changed inside the farm into something more suitable for underground. They handed us wetsuits, helmets and gum boots. You have different sizes of wetsuits. They first gave me a number 5. But that was too big for me. The 4 would suit me perfectly. But the other group took all the 4’s so only the 3 was left for me. I could choose between the ‘to big’ 5 or the ‘Way to small’ 3, the best option was the way to small 3. How tighter your wetsuit is, how warmer you will be. So after a long procedure of getting myself in that freaking wetsuit is was ready to go. I almost couldn’t breath (and that was not because I was nervous 😉 ).
Together with our guides we walked to the caves where we climbed down through a small ladder into the dark. After turning on your light you can slowly walk to the meeting point. After everyone climbed down that ladder we would meet over there. After our ‘first steps’ it was time to go. Blackwater rafting with walking, climbing, swimming and tubing through distinctive sections of the spectacular Tumu Tumu Cave. It was an amazing experience. We were down there for a few hours and after that I was already really tired and exhausted. But, after that great experience we walked back to our stray mates and we drove all the way to the next thing on the list: Hobbiton.
We were really lucky with the weather, because earlier that day it was pissing down rain. But the gods were in our favour and we could enjoy Hobbiton with perfect weather. And I have to say that I was expecting a little bit more. I’ve been to the Harry Potter studio’s in London, and that was amazing! But at this park, you are just looking at 44 hobbit holes. And there is nothing inside. We had a cool tour guide, she was telling some things about the ‘behind the scenes’ things of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. That was cool. But we had a schedule so we couldn’t walk there on our own, wait a little longer for that perfect shot or just look at the details of the holes because after a few seconds it was already time to move forward to the next hole. But I am glad that I’ve been there.
At the end of the day they dropped us off in Rotorua: a town where you can find geothermal activity and Maori culture. After one night in my hostel it was time to move my stuff to my Airbnb. I had a lovely host and a lovely cat host.
I’ve went to the Rotorua Redwood forest. It’s like a forest with red wood. Kiwi’s are so original with the names! It’s a really peaceful place. I loved walking there and could stay there for hours! But as soon as I entered the forest it started to rain so I decided to leave the forest earlier than I was planning to.
The day after that my Airbnb host brought me to a magical place called Wai-O-Tapu. A Wonderland of Stunning Geothermal Activity. The colours are unbelievable! So I couldn’t resist making a short video of what I saw that day. KEEP IT COOL NEAR A HOT POOL.
After my great experience in Wai-O-Tapu it was time to go back to my Airbnb. Jasmine picked me up and we decided to stop at a hot pool for a while. We dived in and relax for a while. But not for too long because it was a really really warm hot pool (duh). We drove back to her house and prepared an incredible and awesome dinner. I thought we cooked and baked too much. But Jasmine was right when she said that there will never be enough of it. And she was right. I wish I could eat that more often. Thank you for that Jasmine!
The morning came too soon and I had to say goodbye to jasmine and her cat. It was time to continue my travels to a place called Lake Aniwhenua. That day was all about the Maori experience. You could take Haka lessons, learn how to make Māori bread and more. We went to a Marae (The Marae (meeting grounds) is the focal point of Māori communities throughout New Zealand).
After Lake Aniwhenua it was time to go to Taupo. A really exciting day for me! I was planning to do a bungee. I’ve met a girl (Julia) who was also planning to do the bungee jump. With shaking legs, we walked to platform. Julia was brave and decided to go first. And then it was my turn. a bit nervous I walked to the edge and after a smile in the camera I jumped right away. After the water dip I was fresh and full of adrenaline. That ultimate feeling you get when you jump down a 47-meter platform right into the river and the rope pulls you up into the air again. You can only describe what it feels like if you have ever done it. And I totally loved it!
We hopped on the bus again who dropped us off in Taupo city and we spend the day together and had a great ‘YES WE DID IT LUNCH’.
After a few days in Taupo it was time to go back on the bus again. And that’s where I’ve met a group of people where I’ve spend a few days’ with. Blue duck station it was. No internet, no reception, nothing. An hours drive to the nearest city. Blue duck station has a population of 8 people. And I hear you thinking right now. 8 people? Is that even a town? Yes, yes it is. A lovely quiet peaceful town. You could do a few activities. I decided to do the horseback riding. I totally loved riding a horse. It’s been a while but it was amazing! We did a half day track on one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, we could enjoy the stunning views and I would definitely do it again if I had the opportunity. I’ve had a big smile on my face the whole time. It’s been 5 years now since I’ve quit horse riding but it felt like it was yesterday. Good vibes only!
The next stop was national park. The place for ’The’ walk. The Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Tongariro National Park is a tramping track in New Zealand, and is among the most popular day hikes in the country. Tongariro was once home to the most sinister of The Lord of the Rings locations, Mordor. But sadly I decided to skip that walk.
So I did a small walk. A 2-hour waterfall walk. A walk beside a river and waterfalls with stunning views. So satisfied I returned to the hostel and waited for the rest of the stray mates to come back from the crossing. After a few hours the first people are starting to crawl back. Some with blisters everywhere and some walked back like it was a really easy walk.
I am glad I didn’t force myself and did it anyway. Because I would regret it afterwards. (But I hope I can do it one day)
The day after that the bus was leaving but I planned to stay for a couple more nights and so did a few other people. The weather was really bad and we watched The Hobbit all day. I would say it’s a good way to spend a rainy day 😉 After that rainy day the sky cleared and we did a nice walk to a lookout point of national park. Good time and way to spend my last day in National park!
I am in Wellington at the moment and planning to stay here for a few nights until Christmas. I’ve met some girls on the bus a few days ago and they are also in Wellington for Christmas. So we will keep each other company 🙂 The day after Christmas I will take the ferry to the South Island. EXCITEMENT!