Arrived well in Auckland and had a warm welcome by my brother Simon and my father Ewald.
(Simon already spent almost a year in New Zealand doing landscaping and Ewald arrived 2 weeks earlier in New Zealand than me, enjoying his retirement...).
We headed north first to the most northern point of New Zealand (Cape Reinga) where the Tasmanian ocean and the Pacific ocean meet each other (called the "Meeting of the oceans"). There we also went swimming in the ocean because the weather was very sunny and hot and we visited the memorial of the Rainbow warrior (sunken Greenpeace-flag-ship).
On the east coast we visited the Coromandel peninsular, where you can find gigantic old gum-trees (Kauri-trees) and lots of hot springs and pools. Went also buddy-surfing one day in the ocean at a place called hot water beach. But the waves crashing to the shore were to high and strong. I almost broke my neck when a big wave pushed me down to the ground of the beach-shore... But it was great fun!! :-)
When you are in New Zealand, a visit to one of the places where the Lord of the rings (or Hobbit) were filmed is a must. So we visited Hobbingen (where all the Hobbits are chillin...) alias Hobbiton somewhere in the center of the North Island.
It was pretty cool to walk to the whole areal, visit the Hobbit-holes, stand in front of Bilbo Baggins house and drink a cold beer at the "Green Dragon"... :-)
On our way to the west coast we had very bad weather, but that made one of the most abandoned highways I have ever seen even more spectacular. We had to go over several passes, always watching out for broken twigs or whole trees and rocks lying on the street due to the bad weather...
We passed so much scenic landscapes where nobody lives, just nature that I stopped counting them. We simply felt like being in another world (maybe Middle-Earth? :-) ).
And that's why I think the name of this highway could not be better chosen by the Kiwis: "The forgotten world highway".
Adventure outdoor activities
We also did some adventurous outdoor activities. I tried the first time in my life the "Zorb". Which is an gigantic inflate able ball, filled with a little bit of water inside. You have to get inside the ball and then roll down a hill with high speed. While inside the ball you are shaken like crazy. Imagine the laundry in a washing machine, then you know what I mean... :-)
The more we got to the south coast the better the weather got. When we reached finally Wellington it was pretty sunny and we could hike up Mt Victoria, where you have a nice view of this very cool city, the coast and surrounding hills and forests.
We also visited the WETA-cave, a workshop that is specialised for making figures, ropes and weapons for different fantasy film characters.
Wellington was in my opinion the most relaxed and coolest city on the north island I have been.