Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and is located at the bottom of the North Island.
It is a bustling city on the water and has many shops, restaurants, farmers markets and free museums. (Which are good to see on the many rainy days.)
There are several hikes through forests and on beaches that are beautiful to see when you need a break from the city area.
I unfortunately didn’t realize that these shells I stumbled upon were the famous New Zealand paua shells. They are used for jewelry and are very expensive to buy in stores. I only brought one back home though…Oh well. Sorry to anyone who wanted one.
Below is a fresh new fern growing. It is one of my favorite things to see on a hike. The ferns grow outwards in a spiral-like fashion. Throughout New Zealand the spiral symbol is seen everywhere.
New Zealand is very good at making delicious hot chocolate. This was one of the best hot chocolates I have had in New Zealand at Nikau Cafe.
Also, I have started a new obsession with avocado toast in New Zealand. Pictured below (also from Nikau Cafe) is an avocado toast with goat cheese, pistachios, pickled turnips, sprouts and herbs.
At The Library, on Tuesday nights the adesserts re two for the price of one…so of course I took advantage of this sweet opportunity. Chocolate Cube: chocolate orange icecream with pistachios and a cube of dark chocolate ganache cake.
The second dessert I had was a vanilla ice cream topped with carmel popcorn and peanuts.
Being in Wellington during December was neat to see how Christmas is celebrated. There was a big Christmas festival and parade one weekend that was weird to see people dressed up and it being 70 degrees outside. Definitely didn’t feel like Christmas to me.
To bring some wintery Christmas to the children, the festival had set up a snow dome which had man made snow inside where the children could play in the snow.
This post is going to showcase everything that I did in Rotorua in the North Island. It was a beautiful…yet sulfur smelly place to be due to the geothermal activity in the area.
One of my first views of Rotorua was a beautiful rainbow in the Government Gardens.
I met some friendly cow along a beautiful walk around Lake Tarawera.
Then my friend Brittany visited! I am traveling to the South Island with her for the next month.
Above we are in the Glow Worm Caves but you were not able to see any of the Glow Worms in a picture since they live in dark caves. But click on the link above and you can see some images from the caves.
After a long drive back from the Glow Worm Caves we decided to go to the Polynesian Spa hot pools and relax while huge the moon and millions of stars were out at night.
The next day we went Zoorbing down the hills! It was so much fun! I wish that we could have went Zoorbing all day long. So what is Zoorbing? It is a Kiwi invention of going down a hill in a giant ball…and yes it is a blast!
Thankfully the water was so warm and there were hot tubs to go in between rides because it was so cold outside.
This is by far my favorite picture of Brittany and I. We were cracking up and being engulfed by the stinky steamy sulfur mist at Wai-o-tapu Thermal Wonderland.
There is a beautiful yet sulfur smelly walk around all of the colorful thermal lakes and waters in the park. It was so vibrant with life and harsh melting death.
Along the east coast of the North Island is a wonderful shore town called Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty.
There is a mountain called The Mount that you can climb up the thousands of steps to the top and see georgous views of the ocean and town below.
The mountain can be seen in beautiful light along the coast and there is a smaller walk that can take you out further to the ocean.
It was nice to just sit out on the rocks for a while and hear the waves crashing in.
The town has many shops and delicious restaurants as well. There are always people surfing in the bright blue water.
One of the must see places in New Zealand is Cathedral Cove.
The hike is very long and takes you through forests, along the coast, and winding up and down many hills and stairs.
Be sure to bring lots if water and snacks on your hike to the cove.
Once you are at the beach at the end of the hike to the left is a huge cove and a beautiful sight to see.
The most beautiful peaceful place I’ve ever been has to be off the coast of a small town in the Coromandel Peninsula called Whangamata.
After going to Surfs Up surf shop in Whangamata and renting kayaks we were ready for our adventure to the deserted island cove.
It was October, so it was still very cold and windy outside but I wanted to see the island and the only way is to kayak or paddle board there.
The cove was absolutely breathtaking and pictures do not show how clear blue the water was or the silence and calm that was present on the island.
A storm was starting to pick up so we tventuredback to land. I am so glad that I got to see this beautiful place even with the water being ice cold. Maybe I’ll get back there in the warmer weather some day.