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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Rotorua

Champagne Lake

By booking a Hobbiton/Waitomo tour and travel together with Bush and Beach, we were able to extend our time in Rotorua by a day. That’s great news because Rotorua is a volcanic bonanza of amazingness.

Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village

Our hotel is near to Whakarewarewa: The Living Maori Village. Within easy walking distance. We’ve saved the end of the trip to enjoy some Maori cultural experiences, and this seemed like the best place for us to do it. Not only does the village have cultural experiences, it also has a volcanic element. Corn boiled in a geothermal water anyone?

Hell’s Gate

I don’t know about the whole mud bath thing, but I do like volcanic areas. (I love going to Lassen Peak on my way from Oregon to Disneyland.) It’ll be cool (or hot) to be able to get an up close and personal experience with the power and strength of our planet.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley

The site of the largest recorded eruption in New Zealand history, the area has hot streams, geysers, and other geothermal activity. A nice walk along the colorful, and likely smelly, area could make for some nice photos, videos, and be relaxing.

Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland

It’s a wonderland! Home to one of the most photographed geothermal spots in New Zealand, Wai-O-Tapu is another on the list of places to visit for volcano-related activity. Of course, with all of these places and many more, it’ll be difficult to decide which one to visit.

While I have focused on the volcanic activities, I am sure we’ll find some good places to eat and ways to relax in the area. If you have some hints and tips about New Zealand travel, feel free to leave them in the comments.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Wellington

Weta orcs

Wellington is not only the capital of New Zealand but also the Creativity Capital of New Zealand. With the emphasis that New Zealand is putting on creativity and innovation, Wellington is a step ahead of most of the country according to Infometric. With its designation, it’s only natural that I would want to experience the city myself.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Dunedin

A penguin colony?

Jenya and I are going to Dunedin to relax. We’re not going to go whole hog to experience all of the attractions available. Instead, we’re going to see the penguins and the beach.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Christchurch

New Zealand Flag

While we’re mostly headed to Christchurch to see our friend Checkers Penguin, we certainly want to make sure that we see some of the sites there before we head to Dunedin.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of Auckland

Hobbiton in New Zealand

Auckland is the transport hub of New Zealand. Most people will start their journey here. As the most populous city, Auckland has lots to do. The most often featured attraction is the Sky Tower. Its revolving restaurant is probably the most attractive part of the tower for me. It would certainly remind us of our trip to Top of Waikiki. Maungawhau, the dormant volcano that is also the highest natural point in the region, would also provide a call back to our Hawaiian vacation and its Diamond Head walk.

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New Zealand: A Short Survey of New Zealand Destinations – On First Look

Hobbiton in New Zealand

At roughly 1600 km long (990 miles), New Zealand’s two islands are about the length of a third of the continental United States. That’s a nice drive in America of about 18 hours depending on which states you go through and the maximum speed limit. I have been told that’s not the case in New Zealand. The roads aren’t highways. They tend to wind and have lower speed limits. The other impediment to drive time is the ferry. It may not run in inclement weather, and of course, it only departs at certain times of the day. The cost is also something to consider. I was told around $200 NZ for a car and two passengers.

With all of this in mind, choosing destinations for New Zealand is going to depend on what we really want to see – not the road or the inside of a car – and what we can get to comfortably. Personally, I don’t necessarily want to spend my time driving at all. On the other hand, my second hand knowledge has said that public transportation doesn’t exist, and the buses that go between towns take even longer than cars.

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