Well, we are now both in windy Wellington!
Wow.. what a whirlwind the last 4 days have been! Where to start.
After waiting for a day to get the car fixed, we finally got the locks fixed at an AA approved repairer. But this was not until we got our car jump-started again as the battery died before we got it to the repairers in the first place! Argh… so two fixed locks $kerching$ and a new battery $kerching$ and we were finally ready to depart on the morning of the 30th. Fem has been stuck in Auckland for the last 3 months so she was extremely happy to finally see the end of that city.
Our first stop was Matamata which was where scenes were filmed for Hobbiton for the Lord of the Rings movies.
That was an impressive and informative 2 hours and I highly recommend it for any good Lord of the Rings fans (looking at mum and Michelle). It helped that we had a really good guide who was really able to tell some interesting stories about the place and behind the scenes info about the shoot.
That night we stayed in Hamilton.
Natural Bridge and Glow-worm Caves
First, this is the car that had given us some much trouble in Auckland but was actually well behaved on the long drive to Wellington. Here’s to hoping the worst is behind us!
The next day we drove to Taumarunui and on the way, we visited the Natural Bridge and a nice waterfall. This was in the gorge near the entrance to the Natural Bridge section.
This is the Natural Bridge itself. This is truly an impressive sight. You can see how small Fem looks in the image.
This was a waterfall we saw near the Waitomo Caves. Pretty impressive. :) We also went on the glow-worm bout ride in the Waitomo Caves. This was very interesting and looking up in the cave at the hundreds of thousands of glow-worms made it feel like a starry night! No photos were allowed on that part so can’t share anything there. :(
That night we stayed in Taumarunui in a nice little holiday park. I enjoyed that one. Peaceful and quiet.
Mt Taranaki (Egmont)
The next two nights were spent at Stratford, which is the closest town to Mt Taranaki. Unfortunately, we camped at a holiday park the same weekend as a major stockcar racing meet, so there were lots of rev heads in tents all around us. They all arrived AFTER we got there, so we really could not pack up and leave. Plus the accommodation for the rest of town was most likely sold out. They were all harmless though, but they were noisy at night which did affect the sleeping for people who were not hearing impaired. (me: what noise?)
Yikes.. is that the time… I have to go now, so in my next post, I will detail the actual hike UP this gigantic mountain the following day. No, we didn’t go all the way to the summit, but we did get a respectable way up. More in the next post in a day or two.