In Auckland we stayed at an apartment in Mount Hobson - it had a nice walkway up behind to the top of the Mount. The photo shows part of the view.
After finding 'Bubble' we set off north, stopping along the way. Took a bus trip from Bay of Islands up to Cape Reinga. This included a drive along the beach, sand boarding, timber work displays and drive and walks through old forests. Photo of Cape Reinga Lighthouse:
View over the Cape:
Photo of what a bus looks like on a beach:
Travelling back down south in the town of Hamilton we came across a tribute to the Rocky Horror character 'Rif Raf':The Hamilton Gardens were a highlight of our whole trip to NZ. They have over twenty different themed sections. The photo shows just one area:
Rotorua - mud bubbles, steam things, and smell of sulphur, but best thing - Museum closed but here is a photo of it anyway:
I told a lie, the best thing was we took the amphibious 'Duck' ride through the streets, and into lakes, all the while honking our duck beaks. It was great fun and you couldn't help but be a kid again using the whistle they provided.
Back to reality - In Wellington we had our first (of many more) sightings of buildings closed down due to not passing the new Earthquake tests. Photo of the Government building empty and neglected:
Black sand beaches also became a common site, but Robyn didnt like them much:
Wellington also had some nice beaches - very popular on hot days:
Other highlights on the North Island (among many):
Glowworm cave at Waitomo - pretty special, walk through the caves, jump in a boat at the bottom and be transported through caves where glowworms were doing their thing on the walls and ceilings.
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