DAY 1&2 OF THE KIWI EXPERIENCE
STARTING THE KIWI EXPERIENCE
HOT WATER BEACH AND WAITOMO
As a solo traveller there really is no other way to travel around New Zealand than the Kiwi Experience. It’s a hop on hop off bus that depending on which pass you sign up to can take you anywhere and everywhere. There are several reasons why I choose it such as meeting like minded people and the convenience of booking transport, accommodation and activities. You might think you would be limited as to the options but there are over 17 stops and a limitless amount of activities, some of which are only available to the Kiwi Experience such as the award winning Maori stay in Rotorua. The flexibility is also a factor allowing you to stay for an extended period of time at any of the stops and then continue your journey as and when you want.
Since Auckland the weather hasn’t improved, the girl driving the bus (I know what you’re thinking but i couldn’t fault her driving) said she hasn’t seen it this bad in 4months (which was their winter).
THE MOST BIZARRE GAME OF ‘NEVER HAVE I EVER’ I HAVE EVER BEEN INVOLVED IN
Our first stop was Cathedral Cove, a stunning beach area on the Coromandel Peninsula, worth a trip in its own right. I don’t often live with regrets but from the chatter on the bus the beaches north of Auckland are meant to be superb but the few days wasted is Auckland meant I couldn’t fit it in. A few showed me their photos and I could’ve swore it was somewhere in the Caribbean!
HOT WATER BEACH
We are staying at Hot water beach tonight in chalets and clamping tents. As you might expect part of the beach is heated by the springs and geysers underground. So the idea is if you dig a pool in the sand at the right place you’ll have yourself a nice jacuzzi while the waves crash in.
Hot Water Beach, Starting the Kiwi Experience
The only thing is that it can only be done on low tide which isn’t until 1am! Was a good night but the time it took us to build the pool the tide started coming in. Also there are there are certain sweet points around the beach that the water is as close to boiling as I’ve felt! Also keep an eye out for the glowworms at night on the way down to the beach.
DID YOU KNOW….?
- Waitomo – ‘Wai’ means water, ‘Tomo’ means hole
NEVER HAVE I EVER
There is a limit to what can be done here but a good opportunity to socialize so we headed back to the glamping tents where a few of us decided to play a game of never have I ever. We were running out of ideas so everyone just resorts to ridiculous questions. Well one fella said never have I ever been with a family member and didn’t the Dutch girl drink! Haha! We couldn’t believe it and each of us were laughing and the other girls were in complete disbelief. She said it wasn’t a blood relation, 2nd cousin or something but gave us all a good laugh regardless
The following day we headed to the Karangahake Gorge within the Kaimai Ranges for a hike or rather a walk through the mining tunnels and walkways.
After we made our way to Waitomo, a small town just south of Hamilton where we done black water rafting. This is just cave exploring along an underground river although part of it includes sitting on an inflatable ring so I’m guessing thats where the “rafting” comes from. It was highly recommended by anyone I spoke to but I would go onto learn that everything and anything was recommended.
A lot of fun but was expecting a lot more. At times it was a challenge going through some of the small gaps but that was for sure more fun than the larger caves. Don’t worry if you are claustrophobic as there are alternate ways the navigate. I have never experienced cold water like it, a far cry from the Hot Water Beach yesterday! Everyone felt the need to huddle together and the guides were in stitches laughing. A tip would be not to drink the water! Good experience.
We are doing a traditional Maori stay at Rotorua tomorrow which has apparently won every travel award going. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
This post is part of The New Zealand and Fiji Series, click to explore.
- How did you travel around New Zealand?
- Did you do the Kiwi Experience bus?
- Would you recommend it?
Let me know in the comments below . . .