目前分類:旅遊日誌 Journey IV (5)

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Hi all, I went to New Zealand for three weeks from the 22nd of July to the 12th of August 2007. Here’s what I did.

 

Auckland

Day 1, 22.07.07: I arrived at Auckland International Airport and was transferred to the Waiheke Ferry Pier where I caught the ferry to Waiheke Island. I spent the first night on Waiheke Island settling in to my new environment. 

 

Day 2. 23.07.07: I caught the ferry to downtown Auckland and did a bit of exploring. I went walking up Queen Street and was met with a rather messy and jumbled array of road barriers and road works. Apparently, they’re upgrading the central city esp. in and around Queen Street. I decided to see what everything looked like from the air so I went to Sky City. I got there at about 3pm and I was amazed with the view. Although it appeared a little overcast there were still patches of blue sky. The views were uninterrupted and I got some fantastic shots of East Auckland, Devonport, the North Shore and out west to the Waitakere Ranges. I also took the obligatory shots of the Auckland Museum, Downtown Auckland and down south towards Manukau Harbour in the distance. By this time it was getting dark and I got some superb night shots of the city as you can see.

 

Day 3. 24.07.07: I spent the day on Waiheke exploring the island and its people. It’s so quiet and empty here…

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Queenstown

Day 4. 25.07.07: I was heading south to Queenstown so I had to go to the domestic airport out at Maunkau to catch my flight. I caught the ferry again to the pier in downtown Auckland and I caught a taxi to Auckland airport. I boarded the Air New Zealand flight and was amazed at the security measures the locals took for a domestic flight. A bit over the top for me! The flight would take one hour and forty minutes and I had a half hour stopover in Christchurch. Auckland was sunny when I left but the further south I travelled the darker the skies got. When I crossed Cook Strait the weather cleared and I had brilliant views of Marlborough and the North and Central Canterbury Plains. The weather was beautiful and sunny with the cold feel of winter definitely in the air. I departed Christchurch International Airport flying past the Southern Alps cloaked in snow and as I travelled further south, the weather became gloomier and I arrived to a rather dull Queenstown. The weather here was colder and rain looked imminent. I took a taxi to the hotel, settled in and then explored the centre of town.  

Day 5. 26.07.07: On the previous day I booked a tour to Milford Sound. The journey would take a day there and back and it included a ferry trip in and around the fiord. The bus departed early that morning and it wound its way from Queenstown to Wanaka first and then to Homer tunnel. As the morning grew on and it became lighter I was rewarded with breathtaking views of the landscape and the scenery was just magnificent. We stopped off along the way in Fiordland National park and I was able to take photos of the beautiful landscape. The bus stopped at the entrance of the Homer Tunnel and I was able to take some shots of the awesome landscape and two very friendly native Keas. The tour continued its journey and we stopped off at a walking track to view the untainted bush in all its natural glory and a river gushing over rocks creating beautiful waterfalls. We left here for Milford Sound and when we arrived it was busy with tourists keen to board their ferries to view Milford Sound. By this time it was raining and the weather was becoming colder. The wind had picked up and everyone took to the cabins. As we neared Mitre Peak we braved the cold wind and rain to take photos and then we sought the warmth again of the cabin. Despite the gloomy weather and the rather harsh cold you couldn’t help but feel the ‘uniqueness’ of the area. It was nature at its best, untouched, real and beautiful. I caught the bus back to Queenstown and slept the whole way. I arrived back in Queenstown at 7.30pm.

 

Day 6. 27.07.07: I booked a tour on an old English Double Decker bus that would take me around Queenstown, Lake Hayes, the AJ Hackett Bungee Bridge, Gibbston Valley Wines, historic Arrowtown and to the Edith Cavell Bridge. It was a cheap and easy option to see some famous local sights. I bought some local cheeses that were just divine!  

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Wellington

Day 7. 28.07.07: I caught a flight from Queenstown to Wellington to go and stay with friends. The weather in Queenstown was wet and cold. I was hoping for better weather. NO SUCH LUCK! The weather in Wellington was just as wet and cold as it was in Queenstown. My friends picked me up at the airport and whisked me off to their cool Oriental Parade apartment which was so handy. It was central and located near all the bars and restaurants in Courtney Place.

 

Day 8. 29.07.07: I went exploring Wellington. Went for Yum Char in Courtney Place, a walk around the Bee Hive, up the cable car to the Botanical Gardens and got great views of Wellington Harbour. Went back down the cable car, went to the arts and craft market on the waterfront and ended up at Te Papa Museum. A very busy but enjoyable Sunday. Went to watch a cool foreign flick too, at the old movie theatre where they premiered the Lord of the Rings. The flick was a Chinese one with Stanley Ho’s daughter starring in it. Very good movie!

 

Rotorua

Day 9. 30.07.07: I had to catch a flight to Rotorua. The flight north was pretty much the same as the Queenstown – Wellington flight. WET, RAINY AND COLD! Arrived in Rotorua all safe and sound. My friends picked me up and they took me to their house where I settled in for the rest of the day and caught up with them.

 

Day 10: 31.07.07: The weather here was sunny but overcast at times and there was still a cold chill in the air. I went to Waiotapu, south of Rotorua to explore the volcanic wonders, Rotorua is famous for and I wasn’t disappointed! The colors of the rocks and the pools were brilliant and colorful. The smell of sulphur in the air was also prevailing and the heat emanating from, the ground took the chill out of the surrounding air. It was an eerie feeling. After this I went to Whakarewarewa, the Rahui and Te Pakira. More hot pools and steam but set in an old traditional and famous Maori pa. This was a unique setting because you were walking through a village amongst the thermal activity of the area. The Maori carvings on the buildings were beautiful and exquisite.

 

Day 11. 01.08.07: I went up the gondolas on the slopes of Mount Ngongotaha, overlooking Rotorua city and Lake Rotorua. The views were stunning despite the cloudy weather. The place was empty and there were very few people there. Those who were mostly there were riding the luge down the mountain and would catch the gondola back up again, only to do it again. I didn’t ride the luge either…

 

Day 12. 02.08.07: I went for a tour of the surrounding countryside… I went to Lake Rotoiti the home of the Ngati Pikiao people. I went to Hongi’s Track and the Wishing Tree where the famous ancestress Hinehopu hid her family from an invading war party. I then went to Waitangi hot springs at Rotoma, famous with the locals who use its therapeutic properties to heal many ailments from arthritis to dermatitis. We doubled back and found our way to Tapuaeharuru Marae on the eastern shores of Lake Rotoiti, the home of Ngati Tamateatutahi/ Kawiti. This marae was and is the focal point of the local tangata whenua (people of the land). These are their places to observe and continue their customs and traditions. From here we went back to Rotorua.  

 

Day 13. 03.08.07 – Day 13. 04.08.07: I stayed in Rotorua with my friends meeting their friends and family.

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 Tuakau

Day 14. 05.08.07: I flew back to Auckland and I stayed with friends in Tuakau.

Auckland

Day 15. 06.08.07: I booked into a hotel in downtown Auckland and explored the city with a friend. We caught the train from the city centre to Waitakere station out in West Auckland. Unlike Hong Kong, there was no overcrowded MTR or LRT and everyone on the train had there own seat. Look at the pictures! When we got to Waitakere we were the only ones on the whole train! That night I went to the movies at the IPLEX cinemas on Queen Street. I went to the Gold card cinema and it was exactly like flying first class. Look at me on the album! 

Day 16. 07.08.07: I went to Kelly Tarltons Underwater Sea World along the water front Harbour in Auckland.

 

Day 17. 08.08.07: On this day I went touring around Auckland again. This time I went up around Queen Street, Ponsonby Road, over to Newmarket, up through Parnell and back down into Queen Street. I also went to the Auckland Museum in the Domain.

Day 18. 09.08.07: Today I took the ferry to Devonport and had a look around there. The day was beautiful and there was hardly a soul around. Devonport is beautiful and quiet. The walk along the beach was quite special. The place is well worth a visit!

 

Day 19. 10.08.07 – Day 20. 11.08.07: I fluffed around the central city buying souvenirs for my friends, family and work colleagues.

 

Day 21. 12.08.07: I caught my flight at Auckland International Airport for KL. Stayed a night in KL and then flew on to my final destination, Hong Kong.

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Summary

Accommodation, food and travel in New Zealand were expensive. Despite this though the overall experience of the holiday made up for it. It was my first time there, I wanted to enjoy it and I did! The people were so friendly and helpful it just made everything I did there so much easier and stress free. Here’s my take on all of the places I visited.

 

Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island was a good way to ease in to the New Zealand scene. It was quaint, quiet, empty but beautiful and it was quite amazing to think that you were only 30 minutes away from downtown Auckland. The accommodation there was fantastic. It was clean, modern and comfortable- although a tad expensive.

 

Queenstown

The scenery in Queenstown was just breathtaking. It is definitely a place worth visiting and it was the highlight of my trip.

 

Wellington

Wellington is a nice compact city and I guess I was lucky to stay so close to the CBD. Everything was handy and accessible by foot.

 

Rotorua

Rotorua was also special. The sulphur and mud pools were stunning. The lakes district was also beautiful and empty. Rotorua is probably the best place to experience the indigenous culture of New Zealand as well.

 

Auckland
Auckland was probably the biggest let down. Although it’s the biggest city in New Zealand it was difficult to get around and the place closes up at 7.00pm during week nights. Despite this though, it was very beautiful in parts and I would go back there again, probably during the summer. The best places there were Devonport, the Sky Tower and the first class movie theatre.

New Zealand

The place is green and clean and all that you hear about it, IT”S TRUE!  It’s very quiet and empty. If you enjoy wide open spaces, fresh air, nature and friendly people… it’s a definite YOU SHOULD GO THERE! You will fall in love with the place!

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