interesting to spend time in downtown auckland shortly after being on a farm in fiji. hanging out in auckland kinda feels like hanging out in a big city in the states … except the fashion is different. and lots of middle school boys have rat tails. well at least in roturua they do. we stayed at a great hostel in downtown auckland (queenstreet backpackers). it’s in the middle of everything, pretty decent rooms, free towels, and we found a free wifi network! new zealand is expensive. and according to all the other travelers we’ve been talking to, australia is gonna be even more costly. so we’ve decided that we need to start hitchhiking. and that starts tomorrow! apparently it’s a very popular thing to do in new zealand … and generally pretty safe.
so auckland was good fun … i actually wouldn’t have minded staying another day there, but we have so many places that we want to see and we’re eager to get to the south island. our first night in Auckland we just found a hostel and then walked around the city a bit. ended up having a beer at a bar called the occidental. so far nothing compares to brickstore pub, but we’re hopeful about european pubs! we liked the occidental though … not bad. we explored the city the next day … walked down to the waterfront.
later that evening we were wandering around and ended up finding some people breakdancing in this city square. RAD!
the girl that organized the breaking event told us about a free movie playing outside in the city that same night. so we ended up watching the labrynth outside with a few hundred people. very nice. we were able to catch up on photos, blogging, and contacting people a little while we were in the city … it’s easy to get behind with all that stuff. if you’re not hearing from me much it’s not because i’ve forgotten you!
our 3rd day in NZ we headed to rotorua. kind of a weird little town, but i guess the draw is all the natural sites/experiences that can be found there. we met a girl named cindy from DC who had a rental car and we ended up going to see some sites with her and a scottish guy named cal. the weather wasn’t good that day … rainy and cold. not bad enough to keep us inside. we went and saw some waterfalls and lake tarawera. and then to this spot where there’s a blue lake on one side and a green lake on the other. it was so nice to ride in a car with someone. we’ve definitely gotten used to bus transport, but we’re finding that in a place as widespread and expensive as NZ that renting a car or hitchhiking is probably the way to go. we’re looking into renting a campervan for australia. fortunately, we met some really nice guys in roturua and are planning to travel around the south island with one of them in his rental car! pretty great how that worked out. last night we went with bryan (he’s from Ireland and is the one we will be traveling with around the south island) and johan (from holland) to some hot water springs. yes … we went with 2 complete strangers to a hot water spring and waterfall at night with beer, bread, roasted chicken, and candles that we had gotten beforehand. it is these sorts of random encounters and experiences that make this trip so great. helps us remember why we are doing this. bryan and johan drove us to taupo this morning and before they went on their way we all went to the thermal hot springs where both hot and cold water surround you simultaneously. so you’re either totally relaxed in the hot water or screaming bloody murder when you hit the cold water!
bus ride from auckland to rotorua
right outside our hostel in rotorua
night at the hot springs with bryan and johan!
where the hot and cold water meet
we are staying at the rainbow lodge tonight in taupo. it’s kinda rainy again so we’ll probably just lay low. christy’s roommate won’t make eye contact with her so we’ll likely spend most of our time in the communal area of the hostel drinking beer. : )
tomorrow we make our way south!