So since the last entry I’ve seen a kiwi bird, jumped out of a plane and hiked for 9 hours across a volcano, it’s been pretty epic!
After hot water beach I got the bus south and stopped off in Waitomo (at the Juno lodge) for two nights where I got to experience the glow worm caves. I did a tour that took you through two caves on a boat and by foot. We were lucky because out tour guide “norm” was one of the people who set up the caves for tourists and had been caving there since being a kid. He was fantastic the best part was when we were in the boat in pitch darkness and the glow worms were illuminating all around us and reflecting in the water so it felt like you were drifting through space or something it was amazing!!
On the way to Rotorua we visited Hobbiton, which was interesting we got to have a cider in the green dragon and the hobbit holes are beautiful little homes I wish they were real. We then stayed at a Maori village where we had dinner cooked in a traditional way (underground in a hot pit) called a hangi. We watched a cultural show and then just hung out with everyone afterwards (we were taught a Maori song that our group performed at dinner) it was great to learn more about the Maori culture and see how they make all there clothes and weave.
The next day we drove via Huka falls, it’s really impressive and a few of us opted to hop on another bus that took up to the Taupo skydive. I’m not sure what made me sign up I found my self in a blue boiler suit agreeing to leap out of a small pink plane at 15,000ft! I was jumping with a guy called Marley. On the way up we all had to wear oxygen masks and I was completely mesmerised by the view which at 15,000ft is incredible so when people started to plop out of the plane everything started happening really quickly and before I knew it Marley was pushing me towards the open hole in the side of our plane… I remember thinking no no no no and then your falling I think you only free fall for 15seconds but its incredible you have no bearings but it’s like you flying then the parachute opened (thankfully) and we drifted slowly down to earth. I was able to control our direction so you could spin and take in the volcanic scenery with lake Taupo framing the view, it was truly stunning and yes I would do it again!
I met Emma at our shitty hostel (base in Taupo) where we had 2 hours sleep and loaded onto a bus at 5.30am the next morning to hike the tongariro crossing with a load of bleary eyed others. I think this was one of the most spectacular days of my life, walking across a volcano was amazing funny as well most people were really knitted out in all their walking stuff I did it in my vans with no socks, a top, a hoodie and yellow waterproof 🙂 no need for all the faf and stuff having Emma there was brilliant we had such a chuckle as we walked the 17km across all terrain. We had a lunch stop at the lagoons and took so many photos along the way. We got the 4pm bus back to town and I then limped up to the hot pools (which is just this natural river that happens to be boiling hot and free!) I soaked here for hours and then a local took pity on me by giving me a lift back into town!
Since then I have done another walk in the tongariro nature reserve but this was just a two hour one other than that i chilled on a boat in lake Taupo and have slept rather a lot in the sun .
I love how much New Zealand has to offer if you wanted you could be doing an activity every day. I’ve found that Im happily just being lost and wandering around chatting to people, the kiwis are such a happy laid back bunch it’s great.
Think I’m off to river valley now to stay in a lodge before setting up camp in the capital Wellington for Christmas.