Can you believe it?!?!?! I’ve been in NZ for a week already! That’s crazy! It feels like I’ve been here for a while because I’m so busy everyday: seeing new sights, having a blast at every location I go, trying new things and meeting new people!
*18/12/17 – Good news! I signed a contract for a full-time teaching position today and can’t wait till 2018 arrives! I’m very lucky as I was scared that I will be doing casual work for a few years, and am grateful that I was given this wonderful opportunity!
And now, without further ado, let’s move on to my NZ diary: Day 7 & 8.
Day 7: Turangi -> Mount Egmont
Even though we could checkout at 11am, we started our day early as we have a long drive ahead (and only one driver – it’s a long story). We had croissants, Golden kiwis and fish fongers for breakfast before we headed out. We also made sure to top up our fuel tank as there would be no petroleum stations when we go onto the Forgotten Highway. Before we left Turangi, we made sure to buy beautiful pies and pastries from Turangi’s Bakery and Cafe. Definitely get their blueberry cupcakes and chicken and cranberry pie!
And so our long drive began and we drove past the three mountains which were featured on Lord of the Rings! It was impressive to see these huge mountains and there was a regret that I could not climb these mountains because we changed our itinerary.
Damn you weather report! It was such a fine day! No rains or storms! Was perfect for a hike but I’m just glad that we got to drive past these stunning mountains.
Top left: Mount Ngaurhoe or otherwise know as Mount Doom
Top right: Mount Ruapehu
Bottom (Furthest left): Mount Togariro
We drove through the Forgotten World Highway and even made a detour to see Damper Falls. On our way, few cows stopped us in our tracks – quite funny to see them with their angry faces and we waited there patiently before they moved away (only took a few minutes). And so, we continued on our journey to see the 2nd biggest waterfall in NZ’s North Island (at least that was what the information guy from iSite told us). We had a 20min return trek to the Falls, walking over private farmland and going up and down many steps.
The waterfall was a huge disappointment especially since we made a long detour to get to it. The best I’ve seen was definitely the Karekare Falls – my only regret was that I did not even bring my swimmers to have fun there~
And so, we walked back to our car and continued onto the Forgotten World Highway towards Stratford. We had a short break here before we made our way to our next lodge which is situated at the base of Mount Egmont. It’s a bit colder here and I like it! Also, the view of the mountain would’ve been amazing if it wasn’t covered by the clouds. Nevertheless, this place is quite comfortable and cozy!
Day 8 – New Plymouth, Mt Egmont & Pukeiti Gardens
Woke up feeling great because the bed was so comfortable! I had a clear view of Mt Egmont from my bedroom window though the snowy peak was covered by clouds.
We quickly made our way to visit New Plymouth where we walked along the coastal walkway. I gave up after 5 mins because it was too hot and humid, so I took shelter at the nearest shopping centre. AIR CON is the best!
After that, we made our way to Mt Egmont as we get ready to hike up the mountain. We had lunch at the hut to fuel up before we went on a 3.5hr hike. The scenery was beautiful as we got higher and higher but I hated the stairs. It knocks out a lot of your energy as you climb up and it does not help that it becomes quite steep fairly quickly.
Even though we were tired from our hike, we still drove to Pukeiti Gardens for a short walk as it would be our last day here.