Amanda Davidson

Joined August 2017
  • Day29

    Last Day!!

    March 5, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    We woke up about 9am got ready and packed our stuff, we then checked out at 10am. We had until 2pm to kill time before we had to return our van. We first got some McDonalds again, this time we made sure not to make the same mistake as last time with ordering the whole store hahah. We sat in the car and ate it in a carpark. We then headed in to Auckland. As we had some time to waste we found a beach in Mission Bay and stayed there for about an hour. It was nice becuase the sun was actually out. We then headed to Jucy. We got there and needed to unpack the car. This took about an hour as we had so much food and stuff we had accumulated over the last month. We gave a lot of stuff to a couple who was collecting their van next to us and then threw out loads. Once we had cleaned everything we headed into the office and signed our paper work. We went over our trip with the ladies and the issues we had and got reimbursed 2 days in the end for our battery issues. We then waited about half an hour for the airport bus. While we waited we started chatting to these 2 guys whos van had unfortunately been broken into. By the sound of it they'd had the worst few days. Their wallets, passports and clothes had been stolen.
    We got to the airport about 5 which was roughly 3 hours before our flight because we were flighing China Air our time were not on the board just yet. We waited outside and ate some donuts lol.
    About 6:00ish we headed in and checked in. Our flight was slightly delayed which was annoying. We ate some Hungry Jacks then boarded about 8:30, so depressing our holiday was over! The flight home wasnt to bad we both just watched a movie. It was raining and so sticky when we arrived, bugs were attacking us while we waited for Chris's dad lol. He picked us up around 12pm and then we headed home.

    The end hahah. Such a great holiday!!
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  • Day28

    Journey to Hamilton

    March 4, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    From the Glow worm wave we headed along Te Anga Road as there were a water fall we wanted to see. We drove about 20 minutes and then stopped at Mangapohue Natural Bridge. Here we walked along this river and over a bridge to a large cave opening. There were several flights of steps so we could get closer to the top. The opening was amazing!! We stayed there for a little then continued on to Marokopa Falls. These falls were voted in the top 10 of New Zealand so of course Amanda wanted to have a look. We walked about halfa an hour and then arrived at the falls. They were Amazing!!! Probably the prettiest falls so far! Defintily worth the drive, a good way to end the trip thats for sure. We stayed there talking for a while as well as watching people climb down this muddy large hill to reach the bottom of the falls.
    We then headed back up to the van which took a liitle while as our legs were still hurting, especially Amanda's.
    This is were we made a mistake we should of headed back the way we came on Te Anga Road instead we continued round. This was one of the windest roads in New Zealand, I swear!! It look us about 2 hours to get back to the Highway!!!
    When we finally reached the Highway we made our way up to Hamiliton where Chris bought us a Hotel to stay.
    We got to the Hotel about 6pm. We were going to go out for dinner however decided to get some Kfc hahah. We took it back to our room and demolished it watching some music video clips. After dinner we just laid there doing nothing, it was so nice just to relax for a while in a nice cozy bed. We both showered and had an easy night. Had the best sleep!!!
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  • Day28

    Waitomo Cave Information

    March 4, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Wai’ is the Māori word for ‘water’, while ‘tomo’ means a hole in the ground.

    The Waitomo Caves and neighbouring Ruakuri Caves are located in an area of abundant limestone rock. The cave structures we can see and walk through today began to form around 30 million years ago from the bones and shells of marine fossils. As they collected on the sea floor, they hardened into sedimentary rock. During this time the earth shifted and volcanoes erupted, causing huge slabs of limestone to be lifted out of the sea. Over the centuries, water flowed through cracks in the rocks, widening them into larger and larger channels until huge caverns were formed.

    The stalactites, stalagmites and other cave decorations you can see in the caves are limestone crystal deposits, created by water as it drips from the roof or down walls. It takes hundreds of years for these decorations to form. For this reason it is important that visitors to the caves do not touch the formations, as they can easily be damaged.

    Having trouble identifying the cave decorations inside Waitomo Caves? Stalactites grow downwards from the ceilingStalagmites rise up from the cave floorStalagmites and stalactites can join up to form columns or pillarsHelictites are spiral-shaped decorations

    The Waitomo Caves were discovered in the late 1800s by local Māori chief Tane Tinorau, owner of the land on which they were located. Tinorau and a surveyor called Fred Mace explored the caves together in 1887, floating in on a raft of flax flower stalks. Tinorau later found an entrance on land, which is the same entry point we use today. In 1889 the caves were opened to tourists, with local Māori acting as guides. Many of the staff working at the caves today are direct descendants of Chief Tane Tinorau and his wife Huti, as the cave and its lands were returned to his family in 1989, after a period of government administration.

    The glowworms found in the Waitomo and Ruakuri caves are the larvae of a species of gnat called Arachnocampa luminosa, which is unique to New Zealand. These insects spend most of their life as larvae (juveniles), growing to the size of a matchstick. Although the effect of their twinkling lights is beautiful, the glowworm itself actually looks quite like a maggot!

    Glowworms glow because their tails are bioluminescent – the chemicals they produce react with the oxygen in the air to generate light. They spin sticky threads from the roof of the cave, and use the light from their tails to attract other insects and trap them in the threads for a tasty meal!

    The Waitomo Caves are the perfect environment for glowworms, because they are dark, damp, and sheltered. This means the glowworms’ lights can be seen and their feeding threads don’t get dried out or damaged by wind. The river that flows through the caves brings them plenty of insects to catch. The caves are carefully monitored to make sure the glowworms have everything they need.

    The nearby Ruakuri Cave is Waitomo’s longest underground guided walking tour and is also the only wheelchair-accessible cave in the Southern Hemisphere. Ruakuri is famed for its spiritual links to Māori and its incredible limestone formations and spectacular caverns.
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  • Day28

    Waitomo Caves

    March 4, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We woke up fairly early and had some breaky and showered. Our first cave was at 9:00am which wasnt to bad because it was down the road. The first cave was called Aranui Cave. We meet in the carpark and then walked 100 meters down to one of the entrances. The actually entrance knowone was aloud to enter as it was sacret. The entrance we enter was a fake one with some fake rocks which looked trippy. The tour guide scanned her pass and then a large solid door opened and there was a large spiral down about 50 meters. At the bottom there was a rock which you needed to wash your hands so the spirits stayed protected. This cave wasnt to largest cave however still had a river running along the bottom of the walkway. We both were amazed all at the formations. We were in this cave for about 40 minutes and learnt so much!!
    We then drove 2 minutes down the road to the next cave parking were we waited about half an hour. This caves was called the Ruakuri Cave. We had to walk up a dirt path and some stairs to get to these caves. This cave is one of the newest caves found which was found by accident. It had a small opening and a small entrance which had quite a few glow worms and some funky inspects. This cave was similar to the last however had a lot of out of bounds areas which were amazing, they had loads of formations. After about 45 minutes we headed to the next cave.
    The Waitmo Cave was the cave we really wanted to see. We still had an hour left so we grabbed some lunch and waited. We had several steep steps to climb down and then we got to a large open area in the cave. The guide had told us school concerts and opera performances we held down in this area. It was beauitful like nothing we had ever see before. Our guide got us to sing happy birthday as no one in our group offered to sing, this was to show that the cave had no eco at all. We then walked around the cave until we reached the boat area where we lined up to jump into these 20 seat cannoes. Here we had a guide that push the boat around in the complete dark as everyone had to be quiet, this was because there were 100s even thousands of glow worms on the formations above. It looked amazing!!! After exploring the dark river for anout 20 minutes we reached the end of the cave. We then explored the gift shop where we both bought a t-shirt.
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  • Day27

    Matamata

    March 3, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    We spent a good hour walking around the movie set until we got to the pub where we had some free beer and cedar whilst getting to dress up in some costumes. We spent about 20 minutes here and then headed back to the bus. Once we got back to the Hobbition we had a look through the shop. Chris bought a jumper and I bought a precious mug. We then sat down in the up stairs cafe and had some lunch which was delicuous. After lunch we headed out to the information center where we booked the glow worm caves for tomorrow. They had a deal with all 3 caves so we decided to book that. Once that was booked we had a look and found a Big4 campsite right across from the caves so we headed there. It took about an hour to get there. It was roughly $25 per person but as it was nearlly our last night we didnt mind. We parked the van at our spot and then had a look around. The place was so nice with everyrhinf you could ask for. We had laundry facilities so we also took advantage of that. We decided to cook some pasta and then watch Frozen. Chris had never seen it haha. Aw look I've been impaled bahahah!!!!Read more

  • Day27

    Hobition Movie Set

    March 3, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

    Today was the day we had been waiting for. Woke up fairly ealy this morning, our bodies were so sore from yesterday. We decided to take advantage of the hot pools we had at the campsite so went and sat in there for about 45 minutes. After the pool we both showered and washed our clothes. They didnt have reception at the campsite so we had to quickly drive up the road to see what time we needed to be at Hobbition. We got back and waited for our washing to finish, unfortunatly we didnt have enough time to dry the washing so in a bag it went. We then headed to Hobbition!! Driving down the road were Hobbition was located had so many rolling hills. We parked the car and walked to the check in point which took a while. We didnt have much time to look aroune in the gift store before our tour started and we definitly didnt want to miss our bus. We jumped on the bus about 12 and our host ran through everything. There was also a video about the directors and the land. So Hobbition was located on a massive farm owned by a family. They first made the sets for Lord of the Rings and then when making the Hobbit they decided to make the sets again so they could last. When driving to the Hobbit houses the guide showed us where everything was located on the farm like where they would stay whilst filming and where certain scenes were filmed although now adays it is all green grass and cows. We finally got there after a 10 minute ride, it was amazing!!! Looked exactly the same as it did in the movies. As there were hundreds of people we needed to go in little groups and move slowly through the houses which gave us plenty of time taking photos. The guides were really great telling heaps of stories about the filming and Gandelf and Frodo.Read more

  • Day26

    The hike that nearlly killed us

    March 2, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We got about 8 kilometers in and the views we were seeing were AMAZING!! You had a red volcano on one side snd a large creator we walked through after another large hill we started reaching the first of the lakes. There where 3 reasonably sized emerald lakes and then further down there was a large blue lake. The views were incredible. You had the morning fog surrounding the volcanoes and surrounding mountains. We walked about 9 kilometers to reach the very top and then the decline started. I dont know which one was worse the thousands of steps of the slow decline. The walk down was long and painful to say the least with the last 2 kilometers really dragging on. The last part of the walk was through a green forrest with a large creek. We got to the bottom about 12:00pm which wasnt to bad as we did it in knly 6 hours when the recommended time is between 6-8 hours. Once we finished we had to wait until 12:30 for the shuttle to come and collect us. The shuttle back to our camp site seemed so long as we were exhausted and tired. Once we finally arrived we both showered which was well needed with all our sweet. Once showered and checked out we started heading to Matamata. We decided we needed a rest tonight so booked and bnb however once we got into Matamata and drove past we decided that the place was not for us. It was so disgusting literally looked like a rap dungeon. We then headed right into town and got some pizza and kfc, we then looked on the map and found a carivan park on the far side of town. The place was a little pricey however had showers, pools and laundry. After we ate our dinner in the van and then watched Sherlock Holmes.Read more

  • Day26

    Tongariro Aphine Crossing

    March 2, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

    Woke up at roughly 5:00am we quickly got ready, packed our bag and made our way to the bus pick up where the bus picked us at 5:40. It was still so dark and cold on our way to the Alpine Crossing. The bus driver gave us some information on the treck and the weather conditions that we should expect, the bus ride took us about 20 minutes and we got dropped about half way up the mountain. After the talk we were very unsure about what exactly we had signed up for. The first part of the walk was very flat and quite easy which was good. Around 6:45-7:00 the sun slowly started to rise and the view was misty and so beautiful. After about 2 hours we really started reaching some height. There were lots of steps and areas that were a challenge. We where only about 5 kilometers and Amanda was dying however we didnt stop we keep on soldering on.Read more

  • Day25

    Tongariro National Park and Waiouru

    March 1, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☁️ 2 °C

    We slept in to about 9am this morning then had a quick shower and cooked some hot cross buns and toast in the kitchen, was nice to have toast for once. We then headed up Highway 4 and onto Highway 47 which was surrounding Tongariro National Park. We then headed to the information center on Bruce Road. We looked around for a little then seeked help for our Alphine Crossing walk. After we headed to the caravan park to see if the shuttle was running for tomorrow. They still didnt know so we decided to go back to the National War Musuem as Chris wasnt happy with the quick look we had on the way down to the South Island the first time. It took about an hour to get to Waiouru as there were road works. When we finally got there Amanda stayed in the car to nap and Chris went inside. Chris seeked some help from a lady who helped him find his fathers name in 2 books. Chris thought this musuem was pretty good.
    After the musuem we headed back to the caravan park which was unfortunatly booked. Thankfully they referred us to another caravan park which was just left of Bruce Road. This caravan park was definitly a dive, we paid $13 a night which was not worth more then $2. The place had really old huts everwhere and the facilities where so old, the receptionist was also a piece of work. After checking in and purchasing our shuttle tickets for the alphine we drive to our spot. We cooked some 2 minute noodles and then showered, we then watched GI Joe and went to sleep as we jad to be up at 5:00am tomorrow.
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  • Day24

    Back to the North Island we go

    February 28, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Woke up about 6:30 today as we need to be at the dock by 8:00am. We quickly showered and headed into Picton. We got there about 7:45 and checked in. We then had to wait for the boat to be ready before we all drove on. Once we were on the boat we left our cars down stairs headed up to find a spot to site. We found really good recliners at the front of the boat where we sat the duration. During the 3 hour ride we ate some yummy jam and cream scones although the wait was over half an hour. Once we docked we headed to the zoo.as Chris still had not seen a kiwi bird. We walked around the zoo for about 2 hours and looked at all the enclosures. The zoo wasnt anything special it was quite run down. We spent a lot of time looking at the apes and then on our way out we watched a quick kiwi show in their enclosure which was interesting. The lady told us how Weta has made one of the kiwis an ascetic leg as he had lost his in an attack. This kiwi was the first in the world to have an ascetic anything although he preferred not to use them.
    After the zoo we headed straight up Highway 1 and then onto 3 where we reached Whanganui. It was around dinner time by now, we went to go get some pizza however it was like a 45 minute wait and the area had some rough looking people in the carpark so we decided to leave. We found a caravan park right next to the pub and river. It was only $10 which included hot showers and toilets. The guy who ran it was so nice and accomodating to everyone. We cooked some burgers again and ate then in the sunshine. We then watched The Great Wall again as Chris had fallen and sleep last night. We actually got through it all for once haha then went to sleep.
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