After a 3 hours trip on a ferry (no other way to go from one island to another), we spent some time in Wellington before heading back to the North West.
We were hosted (couchsurfing) by a wonderful German family based in Island Bay, south of Wellington. Sacha spent long hours playing with their son, he was delighted to have a friend to share his imaginary games! If you go through Wellington, we recommend the Te Papa Museum. This museum is free and it is huge and very interesting.
We met lesbian moms with whom we had exciting discussions, Kath, Lauriel, Rochelle and Amy. A little further north, in Palmerston North, we were warmly welcomed by Anna and Leah, moms of three children. This family also traveled around the world a few years ago and they also lived in Australia in a quite isolated village with many aboriginals. It was a treat to listen to them! We will soon have new interviews to publish.
Our path continued towards the volcanoes. We discovered incredible landscapes. Volcanoes are still active and the most important eruptions of the last 5000 years have taken place here.
We made beautiful hikes, always lucky with the weather! Sacha must always do one to two hours of school on weekdays so we enjoy exhibitions on volcanoes, minerals or local flora and fauna, to validate science classes!
Volcanic rocks have no secrets for us! It is amazing to see how nature and vegetation adapt to the terrain.
We continued our journey to discover another peculiarity related to the fact that New Zealand is at the junction of two tectonic plates: hot springs. Geothermal energy is used for hot water pools / cooking / heating homes and generating electricity.
Still beautiful walks. But here attention, we have to walk in the middle of paths, we do not go out of the trails or wooden pontoons. The water flowing on the ground can reach 100 °.
Turangi / Taupo / Rotorua: swimming and discoveries.
We’ve tested :
– natural springs that flow into a river whose cold water mixes with hot water (making bathing possible and very original)
– the “hot pools” of the campsite: 3 pools with temperatures ranging from 37 ° to 42 ° (but one day it was so hot that we could not get into the water)
– SPAs that use thermal water naturally boiling to fill large basins hot (and they also have more conventional pools but heated by geothermal).
On the cultural side, we are delighted to have visited a Maori village and seen a show with a haka!
Our “road trip” ends in Auckland, a few days to visit a little, blogg a lot, rest quietly and redo our bags in “public transport” mode because we leave for Latin America!
In conclusion, it seems to us that it is easy to travel in NZ, there are few roads (hard to get lost), hiking and sights are well indicated, there are public toilets everywhere,you can find everything in stores, you can drink tap water. It is also very tempting to buy souvenirs or other (material / clothing) … It is in Oceania that we bought the most things …
The landscapes are grandiose and very diverse, a concentrate of natural beauties. We liked the hikes and activities. Difficult to rank because everything was good!