Well… here it is, my final few days in New Zealand. I believe I left off where my friend Dave was dropping me off at Hannah’s hostel to continue our adventure. After loading all my crap into her car, we set off for Gisborne. At this point the rain had stopped, but we still were very cautious driving. The road was super sketchy and there were rock slides all over the road we had to go around. Luckily we made it to Gisborne safetly. It was a bit clouded over, but it didn’t stop us from doing a little sightseeing when we got there. We had a few hours to kill before we could check into the hostel anyways. We drove up Kaiti Hill for a very pretty view of the city/ocean.
We then got ice cream and did a little walk on the beach. Before we knew it, it was time to check in and we went back to the hostel. We had plans to take it easy that night, but when does that ever happen after you say it? We ended up making some dinner (we kept the American thing going and made some macaroni and cheese, but we made it healthy and had a salad with it). During dinner we met some other travelers and ended up getting a few bottles of wine and hanging out and chatting until midnight.
Unfortunately, the conversation had to turn political. This is one of the few times in this blog that I will comment on anything political. But, I am aware of everything going on back in the States and I understand it makes the news all over the world, but if I have to have one more conversation that starts with, “What is the deal with Trump?” Or “Did you vote for Trump?”, I may go a bit crazy. I know everyone is really just curious and honestly I would be too if I was an outsider watching everything go down, but honestly there is a reason I am traveling and wanting to see the world. Alrighty, that is all I will say on that subject. I just needed to comment on it.
We abandoned our original plan to wake up early and watch the sunrise because we were just exhausted. Staying up late drinking wine will do that to you. We woke up the next morning and decided to go hike Cook’s Cove. If you ever do go to Gisborne, I would highly suggest renting a car because everything that is a must do around there is a 30-45 minute drive. I got very lucky that Hannah had rented a car and invited me to go to this beautiful city with her because I would not have been able to go otherwise.
Cook’s Cove was this gorgeous hike. Now, I really haven’t seen “Lord of the Rings” or “The Hobbit”, but this hike seriously seemed like something out of one of these movies (or at least what I imagine to be out of the movies).
I love how many cows and sheep there are here. It just makes me happy. We got to the end of the hike where there was this awesome cove (hence the name Cook’s Cove I guess).
It turns out that the hike was literally right next to Tolaga Bay where there was, according to the map, a “very long historic wharf”.
Longest pier in New Zealand
We went back to the hostel for a bit to have some lunch and to debate what we were going to do that afternoon. We had come to Gisborne really for this rockslide called the “Rere Rockslide”. It is this natural rockslide that you can boogie board down. We rented boogie boards at the hostel that morning, but we were warned about the possibility of the rockslide being dangerous. I guess with all the rain, it could have too much water going down it. The sun had also been hiding all day, so we weren’t sure if we wanted to do it. We decided to at least drive that way and check it out. On the way we stopped at the Rere Waterfall…
We finally made it to the Rere Rockslide and there were a lot of people safetly boogie boarding down it. We honestly had come all the way to Gisborne just for this, so we decided we had to do it even if it meant freezing our asses off.
… and we did it. The first time down went smoothly and we decided to do it a second time and get a video (I mean did it really happen if there is no video?). It was my turn first with Hannah filming. I am very unsure what happened, but when I went to go down, the boogie board got stuck on the rock and I was then about to go down without the board. The rockslide can scratch you up and actually be dangerous if you go down it without a boogie board and here I was about to go down it without one. I guess in my attempt to save this, as I was sliding further away from my boogie board, I was giving all the other people watching a good laugh. Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending, I ended up grabbing the board and went down and survived. We can laugh about it now that all is okay.
That night we did actually take it easy because we did want to get up early and watch the sunrise the next morning. Since it is summer, the sun comes up at like 5:30 AM. We made some delicious pasta, watched “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, and went to sleep.
We woke up early the next morning to watch the sunrise as planned, but ended up going back to bed when we saw how foggy it was.
We left Gisborne and headed off to Taupo. I went to Taupo with Dave a few days earlier, but didn’t see anything due to the rain, so I was pretty stoked to go back. When we finally got to Taupo there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and we headed straight for Lake Taupo.
We stayed there till the clouds unfortunately did come in, so we left and went to go get McFlurry’s at McDonald’s. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why go all the way to New Zealand and get McDonald’s? I will tell you why. First, it is the most frequented McDonald’s in the world. Second, it is on the list of the “10 coolest McDonald’s around the world”. This is probably due to the awesome airplane that the kids can eat in.
We spent the night eating an oven baked pizza and drinking some beers. A perfect way to start winding down our time in New Zealand.
Unfortunately the next day we were off to Auckland, our final destination of New Zealand. We just went to the beach and tried to soak up every last minute of New Zealand sunshine. We seriously couldn’t have asked for a better last day.
That night we just hung out, played cards, ate salads and drank beers.
We made some friends from the States as well. One of the people we met was this girl who just finished a working holiday in Australia and was now in New Zealand to do another one. I owe her a big thank you because I now have found an Au Pair job in Sydney because of her (more on that later).
We woke up the next day, packed our bags, got one final delicious flat white and headed for the airport. Hannah’s flight was about 6 hours before mine so I had some time to kill at the airport. I finally ate KFC (it did not live up to my expectations haha).
So, here are some final thoughts about New Zealand…
1. I am in love with New Zealand. I am writing this while already in Australia, so this final thought was before I knew how awesome Australia was too. But, as I was traveling New Zealand, I was wishing my working holiday was there.
2. I am coming back to travel New Zealand after my year in Australia. There is just so much I want to see still and do there.
3. Traveling New Zealand made me realize how much I love to travel and how much I missed it. I am truly my happiest when I am traveling and New Zealand seriously stole my heart.
4. I miss my friends and family back home like crazy, but I am having the time of my life here.
5. I am so excited for the rest of my travels.
Next adventure… The Channon for my awesome workaway.