Geysers, Waterfalls and a Sailboat


November 6th, 2017

This morning the nice people of the Tamaki Māori Village provided us with breakfast; toast, fruit, yogurt, etc. We had to be in the bus ready to go at 9:15am. A guy named Joe was a few minutes late. Our bus driver makes the tardy people read a section of Fifty Shades of Grey. Most of us would be embarrassed to read it aloud in front of a bunch of strangers but Joe got really into it, which was hilarious.

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A Taste of New Zealand’s Māori Culture

November 5th, 2017

The day started off with a short trek through the Ruakuri Walk which is in the Waitomo area. The loop took us along a forested gorge with plenty of lush green trees and bushes, natural sculpted cliffs and under low limestone arches. There were cave openings full of water and some that we could walk through. This place looked like a jungle.

Once we completed our walk, we made a quick stop in Hobbiton before heading south to Rotorua. The Hobbiton Movie Set is a significant location that was used for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film series. Since Sara and I had never seen the films, we weren’t interested in going to the set and it was expensive, so we decided not to participate. Instead, we had a quick lunch and continued on to Rotorua with a few other travellers. Anna,  our bus driver dropped us off at the Tamaki Centre. Sara, Rachel (from London, England) and myself (Kisa) walked around town for a couple hours. Sara and I bought really cheap bathing suits at a warehouse store as we didn’t pack any because we wanted to save on weight for our thru-hike. At one store, Rachel and I were standing there talking while sara was busy paying for a shirt. As we were chatting, I began to play with a rack of clothes and the next thing you know the

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Black Water Rafting in Waitomo

November 4th, 2017

Today’s adventure started with the Karangahake Gorge Walk. Its was a short easy trek through suspended bridges and old gold mining tunnels. We made buddies, three girls, one from Netherlands, another from Sweden and the last from Switzerland. It was a good morning.


Later that afternoon, we arrived at Waitomo by bus, where we met Kevin, Carolynn, James, another James, Chloe and Lauren. We were all signed up for The Black Abyss which is the five hour tour of Black Water Rafting. Our wonderful guide Nikki, went over some quick rules before stuffing all eight of us into a bus and shipping us to the other side of town, where the adventure would take place.

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Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove


November 3rd, 2017

We were at the bus stop 45 minutes early. The only other eager beaver was a guy standing not far from us. He proceeded to speak to us in German and he quickly realized that we didn’t understand a word he said. We get mistaken for Germans all the time, it’s funny. After a long wait, the bus arrived. The driver guide was friendly and had interesting info about the places we drove through. The first stop was the supermarket PAK’nSAVE for everyone to get food. We were in there for maybe 30 minutes and then made our way to Hot Water Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, checked in, dropped off our packs and headed out to explore. The first place we went to was Hot Water Beach. This beach is popular for its hot water springs located in a 

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Mount Eden


October 31st, 2017

Sitting at the top of Mount Eden, we had a good view of Auckland. It was a nice day and the tourists were out. It was a short easy walk to the top. Mount Eden is also known as Maungawhau in Māori and it means Mountain of the whau tree. It is one of the 48 volcanic cones in a area which is considered dormant. Mount Eden is Auckland’s highest natural point and its crater is sacred. We secretly wished we could

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It’s cold in here

October 29, 2017

The bus driver had the air conditioning on full blast. It looked like all the passengers were freezing and couldn’t wait to get off that bus. Brrr. Once in Auckland, we grabbed our backpacks and waited for the train to bring us home. A staff member at the station asked where we were going. He probably heard us lightly arguing about which train was ours. Kisa thought we had to wait for the next one but the worker confirmed that it was the first train. Finally, we arrived home. We visited with our hosts, devoured pieces of pesto and veggie pizzas and watched the first episode of Stranger Things 2. While we were watching the show, Nic messaged us and asked if we wanted to go hang out with him, British Andy and Hendrick. We politely declined and said we were visiting with Justin and Leeann at home. Earlier that day, we said goodbye to Nic and Henrick and they called us ‘Farm Girls” and teased us for leaving the bar and going to bed early last night. Thanks guys! 🙂


– Kisa + Sara

Paihia again


October 28th, 2017

Ear plugs saved the night. At one point one of the earplugs fell out and I heard the snoring so I quickly stuck it back in my ear and all was good again. Kisa wore her headphones so she could sleep. When morning came, we extended our stay to another night because our bus to Auckland didn’t leave until the next day. We were switched into a girls/guys 8 bed room. There was only one guy in our 

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