Posted by Adam Chin, Receptionist at Hotel Waterloo & Backpackers (formerly the Downtown Backpackers) on 21 May 2013
Interestingly how things haven’t changed one bit after leaving Auckland exactly close to a year later. Catching up with ex-colleagues was intriguing, it was like walking down the memory lane. However, I was having second thoughts about the journey that lies ahead… A 6 days journey on board with Kiwi Experience off I go.
Day 1 – Hot Water Beach
I was amazed on how beautiful the place is on top of a beautiful weather. The Hot Water Beach Holiday Park that we were staying was stunning, it’s surrounded by nature, far away from the city and anything high tech, a heaven on earth getaway… Cathedral Cove Kayaking was the first activity for the trip, kayaking thru the reserve was breathtaking especially thru the tunnel at one stage. We were spoilt with a cup of hot drink and some home bake cookies somewhere out in the nowhere during the break by the beach… the sand was amazingly warm even though it’s quite windy. We then kayaks back to where we started before sunsets 3 – 4 hours later…
Day 2 – Waitomo
Waitomo Caves with The Legendary Black Water Rafting is definitely one of the highlight by far. It challenges both physically and mentally, it challenge the fear of heights, the fear of the dark, the fear of drowning and especially my questionable fitness. Thanks to my adrenaline kicks its all go rather than a no. Harnessing down the tunnel like James Bond would have done or a ninja for my case was fun. Walking thru the tunnel, flying fox in the dark, hot chocolate by the edge of the cliff and tubing in the water was nothing short of spectacular, while glowworms high above in the caves was like stargazing with your love ones. I’m envious of the staff for a day job I must say.
Day 3 – Hobbiton & Tamaki Hangi and Concert
Hobbiton is definitely a great place for Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit geeks alike. The place changed quite a lot before and after the first Hobbit movie released. Green Dragon was a special building right across from the party tree and the lake. With their own brewed beer to offer in the building after geeking out the Hobbit holes.
In contrast with the Maori cultural experience later that night was educating. Learning the way of living, the war dance, the entertainment was nothing short of respect. Lucky few will gets to learned hands-on. The traditional way of cooking – the Hangi is a jaw dropper, mouth watering and stomach rumbling after a long day. A few traditional performances were followed by historical video clips in the Marae before “A MASSIVE FEAST” came from the earth to the tables.
Day 4 – Te Puia Tour
This is the place where you can see a real life infamous Kiwi bird. It’s priceless when I was witnessed the 2 flirting with each other. Then fresh farm eggs boils in the thermal water was delicious and makes me beg for the second. The geyser was awesome and the bubbles coming out from the mud pool makes me wonder if I can get down and dirty in it. Sounds wrong… Mmmm…
Day 5 – Tangariro Alpine Crossing
I questioned my own sanity 20 minutes into the crossing after having to leave before 5..30 in the morning. I was complaining deep down in my head on what on earth I’m in for, it was killing me softly with the amount of stairs, hills after hills after hills. Taking every possible minute break after 20 steps of hiking. 3 hours into the crossing, I’m welcome with the most stunning view I’ve ever seen, it’s fulfilling and makes me appreciates all the effort and the beauty of the second oldest national park in the world. It took me another 4 -5 hours to finished the other side of the track, the mountains reminds me of certain scene from Lord of The Rings and makes a big kid out of me running down the track…
Day 6 – Back to Reality
The trip could have been ended up better if mother nature allows. It was cloudy and a limo ride to Taupo Skydive has to be cancelled. However, walking along by the lake made up the loses…
As you might have already aware there are no pictures in here. it’s intentional as its a trip that makes me appreciates everything in life. I’m not a picture person and wouldn’t have spoiled more plots on here either… You’ll have to try the adventure yourselves to believe it and it’s memories are mine to keep.
I had the best fun in years, I made loads of new friends, loads of drunken nights and makes me forgets about the world for once. Well done Kiwi Experience!