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Hello world!

I’ve been very absent from my blog recently, mainly because I’ve just been working and living for the weekend (a dreaded past time of mine!) but it has to be done. You get what you work for in this world, so if that means working your ass off for 6 months somewhere so you can carry on doing what you love, then so be it. And I can’t complain, I’m living in a beautiful part of the world, the weather has been wonderful (up till now) and it’s just a chilled lifestyle here. We really are living for the weekends though, and although we’re tight on cash right now, we’ve been trying to make the most of each one.

It’s a great spot where we are as its close to a lot of cool places in the North island. Buying our car was the best thing we did, I don’t know what we’d do without it, you definitely need one here if you want to really explore and get off the beaten track. I know I’ve already mentioned some of these places in previous posts, from when I visited New Zealand last year, however here are the cool spots we’ve been to on our weekend trips so far…

Rotorua
First we went to Rotorua, this is when we were still living in the hostel and we tried to go away ALOT just so we didn’t have to spend anymore time than we had to in there. It’s only an hours drive from Mount Maunganui, although we stopped there briefly last year, we didn’t really see any of the geothermal pools, which is what it’s best known for world wide. We went to a park called Wai O Tapu, it was like stepping on to another planet, a geothermal wonderland! Each geothermal pool was completely different, the colours were amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s funny when you’re driving into Rotorua you know you’re near as you can start to smell the sulphur, and it gets stronger and stronger. It’s disgusting at first but you soon get used to it. Here are some photographs from the park, champagne falls is probably the most recognised pool there, it’s not hard to see why, it’s truly fascinating. So if you want your mind blown, go here…

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Champagne Falls

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Next we visited Taupo
This lovely place brings back a lot of memories for me, the main one being getting chucked out of a plane from 15,000ft in the air. I have to say, I wasn’t even a bit tempted to do it again!
I’m glad I went back though as that was literally all I did there last time, I didn’t really get to see much of the place. Taupo lake is so beautiful, it’s the same size as Singapore so no matter where you are on the lake it feels as though you’re looking into the ocean, rather than a lake. Although when you’re looking out you can see huge snowy capped mountains in the distance, I don’t know what it is but the sight of mountains like that make my heart skip a beat. It’s like I forget where I am and when I see them, I remember and get excited all over again. It’s actually insane how pretty the landscape is here, where else do you get so many extreme landscapes all in one little country? Moments like that make me happy, I remember why I came to New Zealand and why I’m in love with this country. It’s almost frustrating how pretty it is as I want to share it with everyone – I often think when I see something so nice how much my family would love it and what I’d do to have them here.
It was a gorgeous sunny day when we visited so we drove around the lake for a bit then walked to find a nice little spot to go for a dip. Being a lake, the water was fresh water so it was lovely and refreshing! We spent the day there just chilling and watching the many planes take to the sky and crazy people jumping out of them. I think another trip to Taupo is definitely in the cards in the next few weeks…

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Coromandel & Cathedral Cove
Ok, so I did post about this last time, it was so special that we went back again. This time with shoes on… Last time we thought we could walk for 1 hour bare foot through the gravel and dirt track. After 20 minutes I was almost crying but we soldiered on and got there 2 hours later…
It was a lot easier this time, we even stopped at some of the little bays on the way (which do involve lots and lots of steep steps) but they’re all totally worth it. The most beautiful bay by far though was of course Cathedral Cove, it was even more amazing than I remembered. I think that’s extremely rare, when you visit somewhere and remember it so fondly, you often romanticise about it and in your head it’s always better than it actually was. Cathedral Cove however was just as I’d imagined, I was so happy to be back. I’d say it’s probably the nicest beach I’ve ever been to. The fact that you can only get there by boat or walk through the bush for an hour makes it even more special. The weather was perfect too! It’s definitely one of my favourite spots in New Zealand and I’d highly recommend you go there, it will be the best church you’ve ever been to….

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Last but not least, Raglan
This was our most recent trip, we drove down there on Good Friday and spent the day sitting on the rocks watching the surfers rip it up. We came here last time and fell in love with the place. The little town is full of cafes and cool surf shops, there’s a real hippy vibe to the place. We had our first surf lesson here, which was so much fun. We were only there for the day this time round though so we didn’t book in for another one. The actual beaches, Manu bay and Whale bay are about a 15 minute drive out of town, with nothing really in between. Although I love living in the Mount and the beach being a stones throw away from our apartment, I kind of liked the idea that in Raglan the ocean was further out. Everyone goes to Raglan to surf, it’s one of the best (if not THE best) surf spot in NZ. It’s one of the only places in the whole world with a left hand break. I think no matter who you are, or where you’ve come from, when you get to Raglan and see the coast you immediately want to be a surfer and get out there and let the ocean take over you. It somehow gets into your soul. The West Coast line is completely different to the East Coast. The beaches are black sand with a rugged dark edge to them. There’s nothing exotic about them, but they’re almost mystical and magical, a total different kind of beauty. Also, did I mention that Jack Johnson has a house there?! No sign of him though…

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That’s me for now! I will update on more adventures soon…

With love,

L x

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