To be honest, Auckland didn’t start well and we do not have any intention to return, other than for a major global sporting event. The main reason being, Auckland has nothing to offer in way of character or personality, especially when compared with the rest of the country. Things were more expensive because you were in a city, which is usual in our experience. The (unofficial) capitol of New Zealand was merely a port of entry for travellers and a useful port for business. If you are going to New Zealand, we recommend you get you camper van and move on ASAP! No disrespect, because Auckland is full of lovely people, but it is not a highlight!

Hobbits everywhere!

We had struggled to find a cheap campsite and settled, after much flapping, for a place near the airport. Not that this was helpful to our cause; we needed to drop the camper van near the airport and we were leaving from the airport, but Alex’s sister was nowhere near the airport. So our mission was to deal with the lies in between. By the way, we were meeting up with Sophie here as well!

Owharoa falls!

In all, we spent the next three nights/two days moaning about crap, watching ‘Family Guy’, cooking the remainder of the food from the van, cleaning the van and looking at the family of ducks/feeding those ducks bread. Sounds rubbish, but it was great! Alex loves Claire’s company and Claire puts up with Alex being annoying most of the time! We also spent loads of time on ‘Rubik’s Revenge’.

Claire was a sucker for feeding ducks!

We left our camper van with Tui Campers and were not penalised for any cleaning or damage, the guy also ran us down to the bus stop so we could get back into town. We arrived an hour later in the CBD, which is quite small and very hilly. Meeting up with Sophie was easy and we chatted about their first two weeks in the city. As it turned out they were struggling to get jobs that suited their backpacker lifestyle and were contemplating either moving on to another part of the country, possibly the south island or moving on to travel Asia. We think we may have inspired them on the latter!

What shall we call it? I know, New Zealand Lager!

We spent the night playing drinking games and making a lot of noise in their ‘No Party’ apartment block and on the second day we walked for an hour to the Crazy Golf place in town, only to find we had arrived after they closed. Back at the apartment we watched TV and then said our goodbyes again; who knows when we will see Sophie again, but we know one thing, our paths are destined to cross again!

Distance to Epsom 10,496 miles!

We made our way, in the morning to the airport via the shuttle bus that runs every 15 minutes, it was only $14 each though our hostel instead of $16. We were feeling ready to leave New Zealand by this stage and another adventure awaited us on the shores of Fiji. We really enjoyed our time here but had exhausted our budget before the end had been reached, we would like to come back here again someday!

Claire lost the other half of the Hampster ball!

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