New Zealand – Part 2

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After 3 weeks traveling around the South Island, we were looking forward to a week of mostly staying put in one place on the North Island.  We fly into Auckland, picked up a rental car and first headed to Rotorua, a cultural centre of the Maori people and a town known for its thermal mud pools and geysers.  IMG_2197 IMG_2204 IMG_2216 IMG_2223 IMG_2257

In Rotorua, we stayed in a family room at Wylie Court, a simple hotel for $140 NZD/night.

We had rented a bach (cottage) for 5 nights through the Bookabach website.  We paid $850 NZD for a simple bach right across the street from the water in Whitianga, Coromandel Peninsula.  Here is the place we rented.  IMG_2308 IMG_2329

We used the Peapod Travel pod for Gavin.

We used the Peapod Travel pod for Gavin.

We visited the nearby beaches, found nice little playgrounds and just hung out.  We did visit Cathedral Cove, which was really beautiful.IMG_2362 IMG_2366 IMG_2357 IMG_2343 IMG_2320 IMG_2319

We also visited Hot Water Beach, where the thing to do is to dig holes in the beach and then when the tide goes out (I believe?) you have these thermal pools.  Unfortunately we just missed the right tide time, but had fun making a hole nevertheless.  IMG_2392 IMG_2376

Another highlight was visiting Driving Creek Railway, a cute miniature train that was really picturesque.  IMG_2448 IMG_2435 IMG_2430

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