Coucou mes chéris!
|7am view from the house|
The 19th was the day of Whangarei (pronounced “Fangarei” in a Finnishy accent) (it rhymes!) and Hayzybobzykins. Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand, sort of half-way between Auckland and Russell, so it seemed like a nice half-way point to meet. CC and his housies said it's not the best town and told me to be warned of rapists.
|On the way to Whangarei|
|Forget the sheep, NZ is the land of cows|
But no, it was gorgeous! Got the 7.45am bus (courtesy of nakedbuses.com, still not quite sure where they got their name from) out and got into Whangarei at 10am, and spent a very quick one-and-a-half-hours browsing the gorgeous souvenir shops at the 'Town Basin' – the harboury bit in town with loads of boats, a few quaint cafés and many souvenir and art shops. And many pretty flowers and benches. You get the picture.
|Baileys Fudge. Why didn't I make use of this offer.|
|Be a real Kiwi: see in the dark! SUDDENLY I REALLY WANT A TORCH|
The amazingest souvenir shop ever. I mean, how can you choose between and Kiwi Sticker Book and a Pukeko Sticker Book, and how much must your heart have disappeared if you are forced to leave THESE GUYS in the shop???
Met up with Hayzybobzykins, and spent a very lovely afternoon having lunch (veggie quiche and a milkshake), another attempt at coffee and cake (a raspberry and cream cheese muffin, interestingly served with butter), a shop (Hayzybobzykins did very well, the only thing I bought was fudge) and a look-around.
|Hayzybobzykins and plant hair|
|On the way back to Auckland|
The next day, the 20th, was PACKED and therefore I will split it into two posts probably. Anyways, it was one of CC's days off, and so we headed off to Rotorua, 2½h drive south from Auckland. On the way we stopped off at Matamata, famous for Hobbiton!
I am sorry to disappoint you by saying we didn't actually go and see the actual Hobbiton – that would've been a full day's excursion – but we did have a look about. Matamata is definitely making sure people know it is the town of Hobbiton, with signs and Hobbity houses and Hobbity restaurant names (like 'Hobbit Sushi'). Very cool!
|The Information Site (tourist info)|
|If anyone rich and nice is reading this.... I WANT A CAR THIS COLOUR|
Then continued to Rotorua.
|On the way to Rotorua|
|Possum Christmas decoration!|
Had a nice lunch near Lake Rotorua and spotted some funky birds. What is it??
Then sightseeing the 'most photographed building in NZ', the Rotorua museum. Very pretty and very un-Kiwi-ish if you get what I mean, I was slightly reminded of like Versailles in Paris, or pretty old European towns. Pretty gardens and neat lawns. But also, a few hot pools – one was even boiling!! Quite exciting.
|Hotpool in the shape of Australia|
|Flowers to go with the car|
Then, off to the amazing RAINBOW SPRINGS and awesome SKYLINE, where I will leave you now, and continue tomorrow. :)
All the best,