All up we spent 5 nights in Auckland and 4 in Taupo. We probably over scheduled ourselves, especially as Boy Child had 2 school assignments he was supposed to complete while we were away.
Here is a brief a wrap up of the things we did:
Attended 2 of the Rugby World Cup 2011 Matches - Australia vs Italy (Australia won) and Australia vs Ireland (Ireland won),
- Went up Sky Tower in Auckland,
- Drove from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula - had lunch in a Pub in Thames,
- Went Zorbing -Girl Child and I went twice in the water one and Boy Child went in the Zorb where you are strapped in and go upside down,
- Visited Hobbiton (we had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement so we can't show our photos until after The Hobbit movie is released,
- Saw some geothermal stuff - Craters of the Moon and Silica Terraces,
- Attended a Cultural show and Hangi,
- Went to the Waitomo Gloworm and Ruakuri Caves
- Went out on Lake Taupo and saw the rock carvings you can only see from the water,
- Drove to Napier and did an Art Deco tour.
|Rock Carving on Lake Taupo|
|Girl Child and I Zorbing|
There were lots of gluten free options in the Countdown (Woolworth's equivalent) supermarket I went in to. There were 3 different brands of GF bread and 3 different GF cakes available. There were banana's for $2 or $3 a kilo. I wondered why they were so cheaper as bananas here have generally been over $9 and up to $13 per kilo since Cyclone Yasi earlier this year. The reason bananas are so much cheaper in New Zealand is because they come from South America. I think the ones we bought were from Ecquador.
If you ask for Lemonade in a shop or fast food place you are offered L&P which is a very popular New Zealand drink Lemon & Paeroa. We tried it and it has an aftertaste which wasn't that appealing, to me anyway.
Burger King sells mini doughnuts. In fact you could also buy mini doughnuts at the rugby games.
Boy Child was very impressed that some of the pedestrian crossing traffic lights had a moving green man who apparently looked like he was shuffling. So every time we crossed the road at those particular traffic signals he would sing "Every day, I'm shuffling." I still believe my version of "Everybody's shuffling" fits much better for the traffic lights but apparently I'm wrong.
Things that I wouldn't do if I travelled overseas again. Book early morning flights. We had to get up at 530am to catch our flight home. Because of the 2 hour time difference by the time we arrived home we had been awake for 12 hours and it was only mid afternoon here.
Get a Travelex Visa Debit Card. We were told there were no fees except when withdrawing money at an ATM or if there was money left on it that we wanted back in Australian dollars. We were fine with those. Not impressed with the exchange rate being about $0.11 less that the rate shown at the time. When we were converting most of our spending money, to me it was a significant amount. Oh well, it was a learning experience.
Expect children to complete school work. Despite us leavign time for his assignments, it was really silly to think that Boy Child would be able to do them while on holidays. So if there is a next time, he does them before we go or when we get back. It was too stressful for him and us to try to get them done while we were away.
It was lovely to be away but it is certainly nice to be home.