From Auckland I started a quick tour around New Zealand’s North Island and South Island, in the few days I had left for the trip.
New Zealand is a country with an amazing scenery, so just the journeys between cities makes up a lot of the fun.
One of the most popular stops in the North Island is Rotorua. As in other parts of the country, it is very quiet and laid-back. The British influence is felt everywhere, from the architecture to some of the habits of New Zealanders. Here, some old kiwis were enjoying a long croquet match opposite the main museum:
The city of Rotorua is (in)famous for its bad smell – a persistent “rotten eggs” smell. However, this is caused by the sulphide emissions of its lively geothermal activity, which is in turn at the heart of much of Rotorua’s tourist appeal.
Near the city, you find a good number of mudpots, hot springs and geysers.
Whakarewarewa is an old Maori site where many of the geysers and pools are located. Traditionally, Maoris use the heat for cooking and heating. The vegetation around is also lush. The most famous geyser, Pohotu, erupts usually around every hour.
On the southern tip of the North Island lies Wellington, the capital of New Zealand.
A good view of the city can be seen taking the old cable car up to the Botanic Gardens. Other than enjoying the view, you can wander around the paths of the Botanic Gardens and appreciate the vegetation. Nevertheless, Wellington is famous for being very windy, and I have to say that on top of the hill it really was!
From Wellington, I took the ferry down to the South Island. The ferry trip is incredibly scenic. I will tell you more about that in the next post.