The last week has been full of activities up here on the North Island of New Zealand, as previewed in the previous post of mountain biking. In order to get around we’ve rented a car, a Nissan Tiida. Not exactly a racecar, but we’re getting from A to B in it 🙂
Here’s the route we’ve been travelling by, from Auckland via Rotorua and down to Wellington.
As you can see on the map, I’ve marked off Muriwai Beach. Located about an hour out of Auckland, it’s where we had our only surf session so far in New Zealand. Muriwai is a beach next to a point break, which always means strong currents play in effect. Besides that it was a pretty easy going playground with a nice sandy bottom, and fairly gentle waves the day that we were there (about 3-5 feet).
I rented a board down by the beach, a 6 foot 8 inches, 21 inch wide, and 2 3/4 inches thick. My old board had the following measures: 7-4, 22, 2 3/4. It was fun to try a smaller board, and I had no problems managing it, so I feel like I’ve progressed to the 6 foot level now 🙂 Trying out this rental board was a useful experience as I know much better what sort of board to look for in Hawaii now.
Rotorua is located in an area with a lot of volcanic activity, and one of the attractions there is the hotsprings. Being a couple of sizeable comfort junkies, we sought out a Polynesian spa and soaked up in the mineral water there, while looking out over Lake Rotorua. Quite enjoyable, despite the volcanic gases being a bit smelly!
Another activity we spent half a day doing, was rafting. It was quite good, although we had hoped for a little more action! We went for a grade 3 river, but next time I’m going rafting I’m definitely upgrading to grade 4 or 5. Still, we had a great guide, the scenery was nice, and it lasted for 2.5 hours so it became a decent workout 😉 I wasn’t allowed to bring my GoPro on board, as they were trying to make business out of selling photos afterwards. But as the greedy bastards wanted $30 for a CD with photos, I just took a photo of the display screen instead. Quite poor quality I’m afraid due to the reflection of the screen, but it’s the best I’ve got to show for.
The final activity I can report from is fishing. We rented fishing poles for a day, bought fishing licenses, talked to the locals for good tips, and set out to try our luck with the rainbow and the brown trout. Sadly, none of us caught anything… We could even see the trout in the clear water some places, but it just wasn’t interested in the spinners that the guy at the local fish- and game store recommended. Quite frustrating, in fact. It helped that we got to see some beautiful scenery though, and got to spend another nice day outdoors.
To conclude this post I’m just throwing in a couple of photos from the scenic drive from Rotorua to Wellington. We enjoyed blue skies almost all the way of the drive. Right now we’re on the ferry from Wellington to Picton, it takes about 3h and 15min, and then it’s time to explore parts of the South Island.