to Australia

By Ben |

Sun, June 30

First thing Sunday morning, we packed up to leave the hotel and could not find my hiking boots anywhere. Since we both remembered the joke she made while unpacking them, it's a mystery... I guess they were made for walking!

Auckland

By Ben |

Sat, June 29

Feeling much better rested on Saturday morning, we took a bus to the Auckland Zoo. There we saw native wildlife, including a kiwi and a kea, and some Australian animals as well, finishing around noon. Afterward we decided to split up for the day and meet up back at the hotel in the evening.

Earthsong Eco-Neighborhood

By Ben |

Fri, June, 28

We woke tired and sore and were unable to get the stove to light and decided over breakfast to return the campervan early and get a hotel. There was no refund, but it was worth it to have a comfortable place to rest! Jessie booked us at the Roomie Apartment Hotel, which was very roomy — although there were only dishes for two in the kitchen, there were three sinks! While unpacking my boots, Jessie made a joke about how we'd brought them halfway around the world to get them cleaned.

Rotorua and Hamilton

By Ben |

Thurs, June 27

Jessie was not ready to leave Rotorua without seeing more of the geothermal attractions, so we went to Whakarewarewa, which has been a tourist attraction since before colonization and is now a "living Māori village," meaning that people live there to learn and teach pre-colonial customs. We did not tour the village, but we had a lovely scenic walk on the trails past steaming and bubbling pools.

Hobbiton

By Ben |

Weds, June 26

We checked out of the hotel and took another Uber to the Jucy campervan rental where I had reserved a van for the remainder of our time in NZ, thinking that we would see the countryside before returning to Auckland. We each took a turn driving on our way to the Hobbiton movie set. We had a very nice tour and took lots of photos

to New Zealand

By Ben |

Tues, June 25

We were squashed together quite tight in the middle of the central row of four seats, and the position of the seat legs meant that we couldn't both have our bags in front of us, but we slept for most of the flight anyway. They served us three meals spaced about four hours apart — the last of which was breakfast — and Jessie and I made a point of ordering different things so we could share.