The Land of the Long White Cloud

In March of this year, I crossed off my first international adventure list items!  I think going to New Zealand for my first overseas trip set the bar pretty high.

The flight was long (I think around 10 hours from San Fran to Auckland?), but I passed some of the time by watching The Desolation of Smaug (The Hobbit), which I think was appropriate.  And plus, it’s always fun to travel with K as he makes new friends everywhere we go.  🙂  All of K’s family lives in NZ, so it was great to spend time with them.1977311_10202028443254932_34556646_n

Here are a few of the adventures we had…

13. Tour Hobbiton in New Zealand.  This was just as exciting as I thought it would be.  I’ve always been such a big fan of LOTR, so it was kind of surreal to be here.  The only downside was the tour groups were too big.  Being the introvert I am, I would have preferred to wander around with just a couple other people there.

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With K and his mum

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Having some drinks at The Green Dragon Inn. So cool!!

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My favorite part of Hobbiton. It was super exciting to see Bilbo’s house.

72. Go to Waitomo Glowworm Caves in New Zealand.  This was the most magical, beautiful place I have ever been in my life.  The tour ends with a boat ride in complete silence as you look up at the star-like ceiling (well, semi complete silence…there are always those people on the tour who are obnoxious and loud).  Once again, the only thing that would make this amazing sight better is a private tour.

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/05/waitomo-glowworm-caves-new-zealand.html

I didn’t take this photo as pictures weren’t allowed in the cave, but I wanted you all to see what it looked like. Breathtaking.

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103. Try surfing.  If you remember reading my post last summer about water skiing, well, surfing was about like that.  K was a very good teacher and I did finally, briefly, stand up on the board and ride a wave in.  However, once I had accomplished this feat, I was done.  This was only my second trip swimming in the ocean, so I found the waves to be a bit intimidating.  I definitely preferred to be closer to shore.  K is a very good surfer and spent much of our trip surfing – I don’t know how he does it!

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Since K and I were both in the water while I was learning to surf, we have no proof that I actually did stand up on the board in the water. But I did!

And we had adventures that weren’t even on my list…(but aren’t those some of the best ones anyway?)

Bridal Veil Falls.  We took a picnic lunch and ate at the bottom of the falls.  This was a very scenic, beautiful place and I will never forget it..because…

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At the bottom of the falls, K proposed!

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Perfect day.

Climbing Mt. Karioi.  The mountain was very scenic and I loved hearing the tui birds sing.  I was not sure I would make it to the top, though.  It was quite a hike and very steep at times.

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Here’s the mountain we climbed.

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Nearly to the top…

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We made it!

Exploring Maungatautari Ecological Forest.  Once again, another beautiful spot!

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Yep, we climbed this.

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Paddleboarding.  This was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  So fun and relaxing.

1896760_10152684161484062_783317507_nWhakarewarewa – Living Maori Village.  Very interesting and historical spot.

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Rotorua Boiling Mud Pools.  Doesn’t smell great, but was so cool to see.

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Lots of new food.  I tried mussels (which I LOVED), Hokey Pokey ice cream (only the best kind of ice cream), meat pies, lamb, and cockles.  And of course, I had fresh fish and chips.  It was all so good.

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It was such a great trip and I can’t wait to go back again.

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Where was your first international trip?  Anyone else been to New Zealand?  I’d love to hear about your experiences there!

-A

 

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One thought on “The Land of the Long White Cloud

  1. Congratulations on your engagement! What an amazing location to visit (and get engaged). I also love the LOTR and if I’m ever lucky enough to visit that will be the first stop on my list. I haven’t travelled overseas yet but I want to visit Ireland and Scotland before my bucket list ends, lol.

    I had gotten out of reading the WP reader lately. Glad to see you back on here!

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