Thursday, July 25, 2013

New Zealand

Annnd I'm home. After a long twelve hours of sleeping on airport couches, dozing on the plane, and spending far too long in line at passport check, our little apartment has never felt more welcoming. But it's always great to walk back into the little piece of the world that's yours after spending some time away. 

Our holiday was fantastic. As I've mentioned before, I had never been overseas before, so even a short trip over the Tasman to Auckland seemed like a huge adventure to me! We spent a few days exploring Auckland and Devonport - going for walks, visiting the zoo (and NOT seeing a damn kiwi bird), eating out, and even ending up at backpacker bars a couple of nights (we mainly stayed in YHA hostels).

We spent one night out at the beautiful Waiheke Island, which was a short ferry ride out of Auckland. I had heard nothing but raving reviews about how picturesque the island was, and we were certainly not disappointed. It's renowned for its vineyards, so we hired a couple of mountain bikes for the day and took ourself to three nearby wineries. This was great fun, but quite extremely challenging! Waiheke Island consisted of many, many steep hills. Chris and I motivated ourselves with the thought of how amazing all the hill climbing must be for our thighs!

We also spent a couple of nights out at Rotorua. I'm glad we made the choice to spend more time here (we initially considered spending some time at Matamata so we could visit Hobbiton - I'm a bit of a Tolkein fan!) as the area was something completely out of the ordinary. The town is built over a highly geothermal area, resulting in multitudes of hot springs, mud baths, and steam. We visited a Maori village and many geothermal sites, and went on this fantastic little bike tour - which I would highly recommend as a way to see the area!

We ate most of our meals out, which is something which we don't do very often. Some of the culinary highlights were having dinner at a Tunisian cafe, eating a traditional Maori hangi meal, and some lovely salads at a cafe in Devonport. I am looking forward to getting back into our own kitchen though!

Overall, it was a great experience. And I think I may have caught the travel bug! I keep day dreaming about where our next holiday could be.

How have things been back this side of the Tasman? It's a bit weird coming back to the reality of home after being away, but I'm looking forward to returning to a bit of routine.


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