As you may be aware, my family and I travelled to New Zealand for four days earlier this week. I’ve already placed the photos on, but here is my travelogue for the trip.

Day 1: Sydney–Auckland

The plane was late, due to the arrival of the new Airbus A380 at Sydney Airport that morning. Many people gathered outside the runway to greet the new aircraft; invariably they greeted us as we left as well.

We arrived at Auckland, expecting to meet the rest of our “tour group”, only to find out that we are the tour group. So suddenly the “tour guide” became a private chauffeur. We stayed for a night at a motel in Avondale, to the west of the city centre.

Day 2: Auckland–Rotorua via Matamata and Tirau

Travelling to Rotorua first requires us to travel through Auckland city centre. Which conveniently brings us to the topic of Auckland traffic. I was warned by my work colleagues previous to look out for Auckland traffic. As warned, the traffic on the motorway was horrible during the morning and afternoon peaks.

In any case, it took us some hours to arrive at Rotorua, via Matamata (which coincidentally, is Hobbiton in The Lord of the Rings and Tirau. Once there, we visited the following:

  • Paradise Valley Wildlife Park
  • Agrodome
  • Te Puia and the Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley (yes, fire and brimstone indeed)
  • Lakeside Park, next to Lake Rotorua

All very interesting.

Day 3: Rotorua–Waitomo Caves–Auckland via Otorohanga

After a photograph session at the Government Gardens, Rotorua, we set off to Waitomo Caves. Very interesting display of Arachnocampa luminosa larvae within the caves, but since it’s a dark cave, there are no photographs. You do need to see it.

Soon after we returned to Auckland via Huntly, with a quick tour of a number of the city’s volcanoes, One Tree Hill and Mount Eden.

Day 4: Auckland–Sydney

We visited the following within the greater Auckland area:

  • Michael Joseph Savage Memorial, Takaparawha
  • Mission Bay
  • Parnell Rose Gardens, Parnell
  • CBD

Then off to Sydney.

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