Our Kiwi Holiday – Part 2

I had intended to write a more detailed account of our trip but after all the work I’ve been doing lately, I’ll just have to make it brief and simple. Actually, I should’ve aimed for a short retelling regardless.

Note: The thumbnails below are linked to larger versions of the photos on our Flickr.com account. To see more of our New Zealand photos, click here instead.

Now, continuing from the previous installment of this story, the next day turned out to be a much better day. We were able to book another hotel to stay in Auckland when we get back from Rotorua and New Plymouth during the final leg of our trip. Also, we went to the car rental shop where we booked our car and we got a Toyota Corolla hatchback which is almost identical to the car I drive here in Melbourne.

With the car already on hand, we left for Rotorua earlier than originally planned. The plan was that we would drive all the way to Rotorua from Auckland stopping only for toilet breaks. Fortunately for us though, the lady at the rental car shop recommended we take a side route that passed Matamata instead of the main route.

Matamata was worth the detour, too, because it’s the town nearest the farm where they built the Hobbiton set used in the Lord of the Rings movies. Even though all that was left of the set was some of the houses’ understructure, it was great to set foot on the actual Hobbiton hills.

On the drive to Rotorua, we often consulted the free maps we had just to be sure we don’t make any wrong turns. We had to laugh at some of the place names we’ve read though because they sounded awfully like naughty Tagalog pharases. For example: Te Teko sounded like “My Penis” and Pukekohe sounded like “My Vagina, ok?”

Anyway, we managed to stay on course and arrived in Rotorua safely. Our first impression of the place was that it stinked and not because it was a dirty place. Rotorua is surrounded by boiling mud pools and the smell of sulphur often fills the air. So, during our four day stay at Rotorua, we had to endure the smell of rotten eggs every now and then.

Still, it was a pretty, wonderful and peaceful place. I only had to keep telling myself that we were safe and that the whole town wouldn’t just turn into a volcano and blow up.

Since, we watch a lot of the reality TV show The Amazing Race, every road trip and visit to an attraction that seemed like an in-game Detour or Roadblock, made us feel like we were a couple in the show competing against non-existant couples in a race. And because we watch the show, we made it a point to visit the places in New Zealand that were featured in the show like the Zorb or the Waitomo caves (though we didn’t abseil/rappel down). And although the Skyrides luge track wasn’t featured in the show, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

We visited other places around town but I wouldn’t bore you with anymore details. Suffice it to say, we enjoyed the Zorb, the Waitomo Caves visit and the luge rides at the Skyrides track by time we left Rotorua.

After Rotorua, we drove down to New Plymouth to see Mt Taranaki which was supposed to be the “stand-in” for Mount Fuji in the Last Samurai movie starring Tom Cruise. As you can tell, we’ve been concentrating on the sites that were featured either in movies or in TV shows. I’m such a couch potato.

I’ll continue and hopefully conlude this story in the third installment.

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Published in: on January 24, 2006 at 8:57 am  Comments (7)  

7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Soph! Thanks for leaving a comment. πŸ˜€ And you were at the park the same night? That’s great!

    But I’m surprised (ney, scandalised!) at what Taranaki actually means. :)) Thanks for that insight.

    And yes, in spite of all our whinging, we still had a good time during our trip to NZ. πŸ˜€

  2. Hey… I’m originally from New Plymouth! Found these few blog entries about it pretty interesting! I got to be on the set of the Last Samurai as an extra (was interesting, but basically meant I had to dress up in old-English style clothes and then sit around most of the day, and they didn’t even end up using the scene I was in anyway!) …was also probably watching Crehan Celtic Sound the same night as you guys, as went home over Christmas… and trust me, the ducks at Brooklands Bowl aren’t THAT scary – they just get over-fed on bread and were looking for some!

    LOL is also funny that you thought some of the Maori place names sounded like naughty phrases – I can’t remember what ‘Kohe’ means sorry, but ‘Puke’ just means ‘hill’… on the other hand, Taranaki means ‘searching for the vagina’ (Tara – ‘vagina’, naki – ‘to search’)… so there ya go!

    Anyways hope you had a good time over here πŸ™‚

  3. Hmm… Gamit ko Firefox 1.5 at alam ko kahit letter O ang ilagay mo instead of number 0, tatanggapin pa rin nya e. Same goes with number 1 and letter I. Oh well. Malas ka lang talaga siguro sa ganitong verification system. Kaso, kailangan e. Nung nadisable sya by accident last time, natadtad kami ng spammers. Sorry but it is a necessary evil.

  4. Or maybe it’s me. dalawa na nga lang ang characters mali pa ang enter ko. but you can’t blame me. i entered O (letter O) and B, when Zero and B was actually the correct one

  5. firefox v1.5 nga pala gamit ko. baka iba kasi sa IE.

  6. Hi Ka Uro. Hm.. I tested the code and it seems to work fine when the New ID button is clicked. However, you are correct that there is a problem when the wrong code is entered. I changed it so that the commentor will only need to enter 2 characters (minimises the chance for error) and it shouldn’t clear out the typed comment when in error.

    Anyway, hindi ako camera shy kaso yung appropriate pics para sa blog, si Raquel ang naka-feature e. πŸ˜› And yeah, go do the Zorb! You won’t regret it. But I think you’d love the luge even more. If I live in NZ, I’ll go back there every so often. And you have got to see the Waitomo Caves. Cool yon. If we had a second chance at it, we would’ve tried the tour that had the abseilling and water rafting package.

    And yeah. Abangan mo part 3. Doon ka featured e. πŸ˜€

  7. nice photos, pero bakit palaging si raquel lang ang nasa pic. camera shy ka rin ba, tulad ko?

    you are more daring than me. i’ve never tried the zorb and haven’t been to waitomo either.

    just recalled the name of the pinoy architect who designed the britomart station. his name is mario madayag. http://www.jasmax.co.nz/projects/cultural/britomart.htm

    can’t wait for parts 3, etc.

    off-topic, if i enter the wrong code or click on NEW ID below, all my comments get wiped out.:(


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