Monday, September 8, 2014

north island

Being in Australia for 1 and 1/2 year and chances of project getting over in next couple of months made me thought about wrapping up places around Australia. We  already traveled to Sydney for Adwait's birthday. So New Zealand was on our book mark for long time. I spoke with my boss regarding 1 week vacation considering covering of complete north and south island and also that will give us complete get away.

First few days went into planning especially getting New Zealand visa. But everything went smooth as far as visa is concern but collecting paper work  was challenge since it involved contacting company.

We booked red eye flight from Melbourne so that we don't have to go and look for staying anywhere in Auckland. So flight was at 12:30 night and we reached Auckland around morning. From there we went to our camper van company called Jucy condo. We planned to book in name of Namrata since my license was about to expire.

We took the van and straight we went to Indian groceries since next 10 days we were going to cook in our camper van. We did miss few road signs because of new place and new country. But eventually we did manage to reach Indian grocery store. Once we packed with grocery, we straight away went to Mount Eden. Since we don't want to spend time in Auckland and want to get out of it as soon as possible just seeing city skyline.
 Mount Eden is dormant volcano. We climbed the mount and got very good view of auckland including sky tower. Later we drove through strongly industrialized area of Auckland to Rotorua. Journey was 3 hours and distance was approximately 233 km.

We stayed at Rotorua Thermal Holiday Park. On the way we saw many hot spring. The place we stayed also had few hot springs. But next day we went to Hell's gate where it has geothermal walk. Watching first time geothermal phenomena and you wonder how such places exist on earth.
I also like smell of sulphar which reminded me of 12th Chemistry class.

Next day we travelled further south towards or next stop of Taihape.

On the way we went to Hukka fall. Compare to falls in India I felt it was ok.

On the way we saw Lake Taupo and beautiful volcanic mountains Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe, Mount Ruapehu. All 3 mountains were so attracting but we couldn't get time to go closer or climb.

In between we didn't feel  there was much and we decided to 
drove to Wellington. Capital of New Zealand. We booked our camper van in motorway. It is specific purpose is to have car parked so that they can easily loaded to ship which then can go to south island.

Once we parked our car, we went for cable car -  Lambton Quay, the main shopping street, and Kelburn, a suburb in the hills overlooking the central city, rising 120.  We roamed aournd took many pictures around there. After coming back myself and Sachin went for grocery and also saw parliament on the way. I was happy to see Mahtma Gandhi statue there.
On way we can clearly see large ships and  wellington harbor. We were very excited about travelling to south island next day.

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