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Becki’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 15 Jun 2006

Location: Cormanel Peninsula, New Zealand

MapThursday 15th June

We drove to Cormandel Peninsula and checked into a hostel which was actually a house and as there was no one else there we had the run of it ourselves. It was so cute, there was a full kitchen, dinning table and lounge area. We were sure to make full use of it.

Once we got settled we headed to Hot Water Beach. This beach is a natural hot spring. I didn't realise before but NZ has quite a few volcanoes, thankfully none have erupted in the last 100 years. The last was in 1886 and the highest was something like 26,500 years ago and the lava rose up to 50kms high. Luckily it was before NZ was inhabitited but apparently you could see the glow of it from China and Rome! How awesome is that?!

Anyway, we went down to the beach, spade in hand to dig us a hole. We had to go through the coldest stream to get there and when we did it was shoes off. Some guys gave us their hole so we didn't even have to dig it ourselves in the end. It was so warm. None of us had our bathers on so we rolled up our jeans and stuck our feet in. It was so nice. Everyone else was just led about in their own holes and you could see the steam rising from the sand. It was so cool.

We sat around for a while, then realised we had the wettest bums and headed back to our lovely house to warm up.

As we had the place to ourselves, and there was no where else to go, we stayed in. Cooked our tea and then settled in front of the tv. We did try to do a puzzel until we realised some of the pieces were missing. End of that idea. Bed time and a little snooze before another early morning.

Friday 16th June.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY t'CHRIS, STEVE AND TOM!!!! Hope you all had a great bday.

Today we are driving to Waitomo. It poured and poured and poured with rain. Think it has possibly rained everyday we've been here so far. But the cool thing is is that we've also seen a rainbow everyday as well. I've never seen so many.

We eventually got to the hostel and thought it looked pretty quiet and was kinda hoping to have the run of it again until we got in and realised we checked into the "Naughty Camp". There were kids of all ages running around the halls, playing up, smoking, drinking! Oh JOY!

Well we did more food shopping, had our tea and then went to bed. Needless to say we are doing a lot more reading these days.

Saturday 17th June

Up early for Black Water Rafting. We weren't too sure about this especially as Kate doesn't like confined spaces. Also as it hadn't stopped raining we weren't sure if we could still go. But we went on anyway and tried our luck. The place where we had booked into couldn't do the trip we'd asked for as the water level was too high and none of us was willing to do the abseiling, especially me. So they reccommended us to go to the one down the road which was shorter but cheaper. We went there and they could get us in. We chilled for an hour before we had to strip down to our bikini's (still freezing cold by the way) and put on some sexy, cold, wet, wetsuits. My jacket was too big and was a little cold underneath, forgot to swap it! Silly me.

The trip was amazing. We had a few photos on the way then it was climbing down into the cave to get adjusted to the lights. This Black Water Rafting trip isn't at all like White Water Rafting as you are sat in a rubber tube and we had a slow float to see some glo worms. They were really cool and so was the water. Cos my jacket was so big it kept filling up with water. We all drifted along in a line for a while untill we came to a bit where we had to stand facing the way we'd come, holding the tube on our bums and falling backwards. It was only 1.5m's but it was so dark it was a little scary. So fun once we'd done it though. I was then at the front and the guy dragged us all along by my feet. It was so dark and a little tight at times. We just looked up and stared at the lights. Apparently if you make noise the glo worms shine brighter so we all sang songs. We sang a xmas song - of course. At one point it was really tight and Kate was getting a little anxious but we got through ok untill she realised that she'd popped her tube!!!

Next fun bit was going down the slide but sadly this meant we were coming to the end of the trip.

We quicklyy showered under the lovely hot water, changed and there was hot soup waiting for us. We decided to get the photos of the trip.

Then it was a nice long drive back to Auckland as the girls were going to watch an All Blacks game against Ireland.

I decided to stay in and treat myself to a pizza, good alternative I feel.

Sunday 18th June.


Was up early. Thought we were going to the Auckland Museum as we'd missed it out last time and it was something I wanted to do as they girls were going to the game but we didn't have time if we wanted to do the rest of what was planned for the day. So sadly I missed out on that and I was a little disappointed but hopefully the rest of the day will be fun.

We drove on to Rotorua. We got there in plently of time so went to treat ourselves to a hot spa and mud pool.

First impressions of Rotorua - IT SMELLS! As I'd said before it was a volcanic area and this place was full of geysers and hot springs and smelt very strongly of sulphur. So bad in fact that it'll turn all your silver jewlery black.

We got to Hell's Gate and paid for our spa. First we got into the mud pool and covered ourselves in mud. It was so funny but the guy took some pics for us. It was really hot in there and apparently the hot mud is really good for your skin. Only down side is that you have to have a cold shower after to get it all off and close your pores. It was numbingly cold. We quickly ran to the hot spa to warm up again. We didn't stay in there too long as it was too hot and making us really restless.

We treated ourselves to a mini roast dinner and it was lovely, not as good as home though. Then if you hadn't guessed it we stayed in.

Monday 19th June.

This was a brave day for all of us. We went White Water Rafting with Raft and Sledge. The guys that took us were great. Few bad jokes like Graham and Eggs. Tumble weed rolled past on that one.

I've never been rafting before so I was a little nervous as to what would happen. But they went through it all and said that before they went down the cliffe they would stop again and go through it all.

This is why we're brave it was a 7m drop down some rapids. We were all a little nervous on that one and probably a little scared too as we'd been told the night before by some guy that they can flip you on purpose. Kate made it abuntantly clear to them that she wouldn't be happy if they tipped it! Hee hee

It was a really cool trip and a great experience. We practised going over the cliffe as we went down but I don't think any of us were ready to go but there we were at the top and no turning back.

It ... was... awesome!! We loved it and WE DIDN"T TIP!!! It was such a result. It all happened so fast though. In a matter of seconds we were down it and cheering, posing for the camera. It was such a thrill!

Again it all happened really fast! I loved it. Again we bought all the photos. We couldn't believe it that we actually went right under the water, none of us remembered that, though that may have had something to do with our eyes being shut!!!!!!! Ha ha

We were meant to go to a Polnesian Spa in the afternoon but we all decided to stay in and chill out instead. We did walk around the geysers which were quite amazing but again smelly.

In the evening we went to a Maori Concert. We were all looking forward to this. We went to the office after being picked up and watched a short film about Maori's and how the founders started up the concert. We were told that as they'd had a black out some of the concert couldnt be done. We got to the centre and the lights were still out so they decided we'd have our meal straight away. We were on table one and got to get our food first. It was yum. There was chicken and lamb and lots of veg! We filled our plates as all backpackers do with free food. It was so lovely. With all the lights out as well and gas lamps around it made a really lovely setting.

After they'd cleared up there was a man walking around singing to each table, at our table he sang a lovely bunch of cocnuts in our honour!!!

Then the performance began. It was fantastic. They were so great. I think I sat there the entire time with a smiley grin on my face. I took lots of pics and a few films of it. I really loved it. Another thing that was over too quick.

New Zealand is defintely proving itself to be pretty amazing with non stop gorgeous scenery and amazing places to visit. What more could a tourist ask for!!!