Saturday, December 5, 2015

New Zealand: The North Island

After spending the day in Fiji we flew into Auckland and I LOVED it. It was such a clean city with so many original shops and awesome places for food. We stayed in a private room at the base hostel and below is a photo from our room. The first night we wandered and shopped and found the most amazing ice cream parlour ever.  Lyle still talks about "the best ice cream he's ever had." It's a little place called Giapo's and you can sample flavors and then they have special toppings that they do for each flavor and they are seriously so good. They had the coolest areas with arcades, movies and food. It was such a fun city to explore.
This was the first of many waterfalls we saw on this trip and by the end Lyle didn't want to see any more ha. It was a gloomy day, but it made it even more beautiful. This is Whangarei Falls.
A view of Auckland from the highway.
Then we made our way to Rotorua. We stopped at this thermal park that was really cool.
 Rotorua had so many awesome things to do. Trying to make decisions on the different things we wanted to do was hard at first but we narrowed it down by picking the things that would be hard or not possible anywhere else so zorbing stuck out and it was SO much fun! We did both tracks and they were awesome. I seriously can't wait to share our video with all of you! In Rotorua you can do everything from white water rafting, to zorbing, to thermal parks, to skydiving and more. 
This waterfall was one of my favorites, Bridal Veil Falls. Pretty funny because Utah has it's very own Bridal Veil Falls. We got there pretty early and had the whole place to ourselves. On the way back up, I saw a spot to get off the path and take some pictures. Lyle was freaking out because there was no rail or anything but it was so worth it for the views! 
After making our back down from Rotorua we stopped at Hobbiton (all the pictures are in the next post) and did the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. I have been reading about these caves for a long time and I am SO happy we went. It's only doable in NZ so everyone should go! After walking through these caves you take a boat ride where the whole ceiling is just glowing with these worms and it's magical. You can't take pictures in the caves but it was one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I highly recommend it! We loved having a camper van and being able to stop in all the cute little towns. This one with all the flowers everywhere was my favorite. After that we went down towards Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Its near a little snow town. This is one of the best day hikes in the world but the weather was really crappy that day. Around the time that we were there they were predicting snow! We went during Spring time in NZ so I thought it was going to be warmer than it actually was but I would go in the Spring all over again because the flowers on both islands were perfect and all the baby animals in the fields just made NZ even more picturesque.
 xo Cait

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