Sunday, July 11, 2010

The rest of New Zealand

This will be a long post, but I'm attempting to catch up! Currently we have are in Australia! We've made it to Kangaroo Island, where my sister-in-law and brother-in-law reside and we are relaxing and catching up from our whirlwind trip through Australia over the last week. Before we get to that, though, I thought I should finish up showing you the rest of our New Zealand trip! I'll do the last 3 days in this post, so I will understand if you get tired of reading and looking through our tons of pictures!

Some of you asked to see a map of where we have traveled to see just how much of NZ we covered. Patrick figured it up to around 2800 kilometers! We did see enough, though, to know that we hope to come back and spend some more time in many of the places that we only got to pass through.
We awoke on Friday morning in Greymouth on the West Coast of the South Island and headed out. Our goal was to go through Westport, see some of the West Coast and then head back to Picton, where the ferry leaves, take the ferry across and stay the night in Wellington. Lofty aspirations, indeed. We stopped on the beach at Greymouth to see another sunrise. The beauty of the waves crashing against the rocks was amazing and powerful. We are continually amazed at how God's glory is displayed in his creation. Romans 1:20 comes to mind.

We also stopped along the way at Paparoa National Park, home of the infamous Pancake Rocks. I had seen pictures of this place in a book at the chiropractor's office when we first got here, so I jumped on the chance to see it in person. It was a nice 20-30 minute walk through the little lookout park area.

The Pancake Rocks:

After getting back in the car we realized we had spent a little too much time lingering at Paparoa and needed to really book it to get to the ferry on time. From then on, we just snapped pictures along the way as we drove back to Picton.

We literally made it JUST IN TIME. We were the last car in the queue at the ferry station!

Here's Patrick attempting to do a little work on the ferry.
I took my Dramamine on time and did not try to be brave. I immediately found my little seat by the smoke stacks and cozied up. This was a different ship, so it took a little hunting to find the best seat, but it worked! I did not get seasick! I was even able to walk around a little and get some pictures.

Here's a view coming back into the North Island.

The city of Wellington.

We got to our hotel and checked in. The room was very nice and comfortable. Of course I forgot to take pictures of it. We went out to explore the city a little and find some dinner. We ended up eating at a Cuban Kebab place in the city square. They made us some great chicken wraps! We settled in for the night and didn't set the alarm for once.

Saturday morning we drove from Wellington north. We were headed towards Taupo (where the beautiful lake from the first day's drive was) where we hoped to spend the night. We decided to take a little detour and explore some of the west coast of the North Island. Here are some pictures as we drove.

We stopped for coffee at this little place and wished we were hungry! It would have been a great little place for lunch. They had a fire going and were packed with people. The food smelled great.

In our attempt to take the scenic route, we ended up on Highway 43, which was also called the Forgotten World Highway. It was gorgeous countryside.

We soon found out why it was called the Forgotten World Highway, because we didn't see another car or come to any sort of town for over 2 hours. As it got dark we were starting to get a little worried.

FINALLY we came to a little town and stopped for dinner at this little restaurant that used to be a train car. It was the only place open in the town but the food was great! We had steak and baked potato for dinner and warmed up with a cup of tea before getting back on the road for another hour's drive to Taupo.

At Taupo, we pulled into the Cottage Mews Motel to stay the night. The innkeeper was a lovely lady who was so hospitable and nice. We chatted for a while and it turns out that she had studied English Literature and loved to read. Obviously we had a lot in common. The room was cozy and warmed up quickly. As you can see, there was a huge tub right next to the bed! It was quite bizarre, but added to the charm of the room. There was also a cute little patio out back.

We left the next morning, headed for Auckland where we would fly out to Australia the next day. We stopped in Rotaruoa because so many people along the way said we needed to see the geothermal spots.

We went to a self-described "Thermal Wonderland" and did a walk through.

At the end of the tour you could drive over and see this geyser that supposedly went off at the same time everyday. Turns out, it does this because they put something in it to make it explode. We were a little disappointed that the demonstration was fake, but it was still pretty neat to see.

Finally, we headed back to Auckland, snapping pictures along the way. Patrick took this picture of a huge buck to show all of his friends who love to hunt.

We stopped for lunch on our last day at Columbus Coffee. It was absolutely the best meal we had in New Zealand. Patrick had an omelet and I had a roasted veggie sandwich. We split some French Onion Soup. It was all very delicious and a great way to end our trip.

We arrived in Auckland that evening. Patrick had to write a paper and we had to fly out at 6:00 the next morning so it was an early night (for me at least). We rested and set the alarms for early, early, early.

I can't believe it went by so quickly, but New Zealand was good to us. We hope to get back one day and see more of the South Island. On to Australia next! God is good to us.

1 comment:

Patrick, Ashley & Audrey said...

Em...the trip sounds amazing! I'm so glad you are having safe travels!
I hope you enjoy your time with family! What a cool place to live!
Looking forward to more pictures and reading your stories!:)