Now we are home we have had time to compress some videos from our trip. More will follow as we can get them uploaded.
It was an early start of 5am to get everyone ready for the drive to the airport. Aunty Lorraine drew the short straw and we all set off in a somber mood.
We were soon checked in and we had a very tearful farewell as goodbye would mean we would not see Aotoea again. The land of the long white cloud had been very kind to us but when such a fantastic trip comes to an end it will always end in tears. One last wave and we were through security and on our long return leg.
The 3 hour flight to Sydney was easy compared to the second leg of 14 hours.
Next was a 10 hour wait in Abu Dhabi, luckily we had a room at the Premier Inn so we could freshen up before our 7 hour flight to Manchester.
Then then the train back to Carlisle
As the weather today was warm, sunny and clear so we decided to go to the sky tower in Auckland. It is the highest man made structure in New Zealand, it’s viewing deck is 220mtrs above the ground.
On Ester Sunday the family came round and we had slow roasted lamb with all the trimmings.
Well after our second night in Rotarua we left for Auckland and our last few days with family.
The Mitai family are a real Maori tribe that live in Rotarua on there land they have decided to share with people the pride they have in thier culture and history.
We were welcomed onto thier land by the chief of the tribe, we spent some time discovering where all the travellers had come from. People with us who had travelled on the 4 winds came from 20 different lands. Our host addressed everyone in thire native tongue, quite a feat and well appreciated.
We then went to see the unveiling of the Hangi a traditional feast cooked on hot stones underground.
Then we experienced the Maori cultural show which showed how the Moari came to New Zealand and how the rituals are still part of everyday life.
We then celebrated by eating together before a trip to the Glow Worms and sacred spring.
Hells Gate geothermal attraction is Rotorua’s most active geothermal park and is known as the “AWESOME BEAST” of New Zealand Geothermal attractions. Hells Gate geothermal attraction features boiling hot pools and erupting waters with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees Celsius; steaming fumaroles; hot water lakes; sulphur crystals and deposits; New Zealand’s largest active mud volcano; Southern Hemisphere’s largest hot water fall and even examples of land coral.
George Bernard Shaw as he gazed upon the the pools named them Hells Gate and the name stuck.
It truly was impressive and very hot but worthwhile trip.
Rees & Keli also got to try carving using Maori techniques.
Wellington to Rotorau
Woke up at 8am to set off on another long drive north, Rotorau is about a 5.5hour drive so we wanted to get on the road asap.
A quick fill up with fuel ($1.21 a ltr = 60p) 2 x Coffee 1 x Tea, 1 x Apple Juice, a Danish pastry & 2 x hot cooked Sausages & we were off on the road again.
We stopped at a coffee shop in Huntington called Relish the Moment for drinks & then went into a 4 Square (minimart) to grab snacks to munch on along the way.
Greymouth to Picton and ferry to Wellington
After Shantytown we took a 6 hour drive to Picton to board the ferry back ( Arahura ) to the North Island and arrival in Wellington, the night ferry docked at 1.40am so we took a short trip to ngio before freedom camping down by the water front, Keli who was in the front navigating fell asleep before we got out of Wellington. lol.
By this time it was going on for 2am so we just secured the camper & went to bed.