Yesterday we went to see a geyser that goes off 10.15 every day. It rained, it was windy and it was cold. But the geyser was really cool. We walked around the area and there were different pools with different coloured water. If it would have been a little bit better weather it could have been a great walk.
After our walk we went home, had a nice long bath and an early dinner.
Today the sun has been out and it has been a lovely day. We went to a prawn farm, they had big ponds where you could catch your own prawns. First, we took a walk around the area and they had set up climbing areas, bikes where you pump out water as you cycle, swings, peddle boats and lots more. We spent about four hours there. I managed to catch three prawns, the boys-none! I don’t like them so Stephen took them to the restaurant and then ate them.
On the way home from the Prawn place we stopped at a waterfall and a place called crater of the moon land. The waterfall was impressive and when we got to the crater of the moon land it was even more so. There were hot springs under the ground so there were smoke everywhere. Pretty cool.
New Zealand is exciting, loud, fun, cold, friendly.
We have been in New Zealand for five days now and so far, we have experienced so much fun.
We arrived in Auckland and met up with some friends that we got to know on Fiji. Henry and Aria had a playdate while we sat around drinking tea and talking about travels. It turns out she stayed in Antibes, France as well about 15 years ago. Small world.
The boys also had a haircut as it was about 12 weeks since the last one.
We got our car 2 days ago and drove to Hahei on the Coramandel Peninsula. We stayed at a hotel called the church and around there they had a hot spring beach. It was freezing cold but all the people there were in swimwear laying in hot puddles that they had dug out.
I didn’t think it was going to be that hot but it really was. The further away from the water you dug the hotter it got, around 60 degrees. But it was only in certain spots. We were not in swimwear but we stood with our feet in the water and it was wonderful. Earlier in the day we went on a boat to spot some whales and dolphins. Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any. But we did see a baby seal and some beautiful caves. It was a great trip but it ended quickly when the rain come over us.
The weather has been pretty good, around 16 degrees and the sun has been out most days. Don’t get me wrong it’s no Fiji or Hawaii but it is nice.
Then we drove on and checked into a hotel in Rotorua. This hotel is excellent. It is a real five star hotel with two bedrooms, a living area and two bathrooms. From this hotel we took the car up to Hobbiton. Stephen has seen and read all the films and books and knows everything about them. I have seen the films but don’t remember much (except Orlando Bloom) But it was still an exciting day. We went there on a quiet time a year, there were still people but not busload after busload. We had a lovely guide that took us around and I really recommend to go there even if you haven’t seen the films or read the books. It is a beautiful place and it is a lovely walk around.
This morning we went and did some canopy walking, it was pretty nice a 500m of walk up in the trees.
In the evening, we went to Tamaki Maori Village Hangi and concert. A bus came and picked us up from our hotel and took us to a village out in the woods. There was a lovely welcome with everyone in the village in traditional clothing and tattoos. They took us around to different areas where they told us about their daily life. They then showed us how they cook food underneath the earth. And while the food was being prepared they had a show for us with the Haka to finish. Amazing.
The food was yummy and the whole evening was special.
On the way home the bus driver went a bit mad and was singing in all kinds of languages and went round and round the roundabouts. Henry thought he was hilarious. He was going to drive around another roundabout but then the police came with their lights on so he didn’t dare. The police weren’t for him but it was just so funny. He had the whole bus in stiches and nobody wanted to get off when it was their stop.
Tomorrow morning at a very early time we leave the Pacific Islands for New Zealand.
I have really no expectations for the next month, I just think it will be great.
Our last day was spent in Big Bula Waterpark, with lots of slides! I’m not big on things that goes fast but even I went down a few. Stephen tried them all and Henry refused but played in the kiddy area.
We also tried the surfboard out, Henry “climbed” up a tower and he also got a Henna tattoo. It was the perfect end to Fiji.
Our days are pretty much the same, get up, go for breakfast, and I must say that the breakfast here is the best one for a long, long time. They have everything from cheeses to omelette to cooked breakfast to cakes. Love it.
Then we leave Henry at the kid’s club. And again, it is the best kids club we have had for a long time as well. They have very good staff there, they have a set schedule that they keep themselves to every day. Like yesterday was water day. So, they taught all the children how to snorkel. First, they showed them a video how to do it, then they took them all down to the pool and gave them masks, snorkels and floating vest if they needed it. Then they helped them do it. In the afternoon, they took them on a boat with a glass bottom to show them the reef and the corals.
Today it was about nature so they were going for a nature walk where they were going to show them all the plants that you can use for medicine. And then they would get a visit from an iguana. In the afternoon, they were going to walk on the beach, see the mangroves and build sandcastles.
I am very impressed how they operate the club. Henry loves it.
So, Henry is there in the morning then we normally have a little rest, play a game, sleep or watch something on his kindle or read a book.
After that we go to the pool which is normally filled with kids that Henry plays with.
In the evenings, there is a buffet dinner for Henry and we get food from a menu. The food has been very tasty. It is not five courses but the portions are massive!
Henry has managed to fall asleep in his dinners twice.
Last night he fell asleep at 6.20 and he doesn’t normally go to sleep until 8 here so we thought he was going to wake up super early, but he woke up at 6.40 this morning all happy. I can’t even remember last time Henry had a 12-hour sleep!
Fiji is finished in a few days’ time and it’s onwards to New Zealand. At the moment, it is around 10-15 degrees there and it is the coldest we have had for 6 months! We might have to do an emergency shop of hats and gloves and maybe a few extra jumpers. We’ll see.
Fiji has been lovely. It is so far away though from Europe so probably not something we would do again. All the Polynesian islands have been great for different reasons.
Hawaii was amazing, wild beaches, great body boarding, surfing and playing on the beach.
Samoa was backwards in a good way. Not so built up and touristy, green and friendly.
Fiji has had the more upmarket resorts with great pools and food. It is also very friendly, good kid’s clubs, beautiful beaches and snorkelling.
Fiji so far has been great. We haven’t had shoes on our feet for two weeks 😊Not even in the restaurants. I had to put on my flip-flop yesterday and it felt very strange.
The first hotel we stayed at was called the Hideaway Resort and it was lovely with a nice pool and beach. But the staff was really grumpy and you didn’t get many smiles. They had activities every day that Henry enjoyed like the water aerobics and a sun-dance. Henry was the first one up there to do the dance and everyone loved him.
It was a real kid place with a slide in the pool and pool-toys laying around. We didn’t do much, just laid around the pool, played and ate. Henry and I went to the Spa for a couples massage. He loved it and keep asking for an other one.
We then took a ferry for 2 hours to Waya island where Octopus Resort is located. This was a really lovely hotel. I would rate it at 5 stars out of 5. They were friendly, they had a great kid set up with a kids club and kids dinner with their own table and then a film for them when it was the grownups dinner time. Henry met so many friends there and we are meeting up with a few of them when we are traveling to New Zealand and Australia.
Why is it that the Kiwis and the Aussies are so friendly?
The food was also amazing, it was five course dinner every night. And when it was my birthday Stephen had arranged a song and cake for me. Slightly embarrassing but lovely at the same time. Stephen went on a snorkelling tour and saw a shark!!
We were really sad to leave that place because it was so nice. We were there for 4 nights and then the little boat took us out to the ferry again and the ferry took us a further 2-hour north to Nacula island, to a sister-resort to the Octopus called Blue Lagoon. It is as lovely as the last one. But there weren’t as many kids at the same age. At the blue lagoon we went to visit the village and school and we also went to the blue lagoon caves which was pretty cool. You had to dive down under water to get to the second part and it was no light inside it. Henry and I stayed in the cave outside the black one.
Yesterday we took the ferry back towards the main land, jumped off at a small island where a taxi (speedboat) took us to another island called Malolo Island. The Mololo island resort is a pure 5 star resort and a big step up from what we had with octopus and blue lagoon. Even if we loved those places this one is pure luxury.
We are over halfway through our adventure already and the time has really flown by! We have had so much fun doing this but there have also been some difficult 3-year-old tantrums along the way. Sometimes I just want to pack up and go home. Those thoughts don’t last long though.
Henry has developed a lot around the world. He is more outgoing now, he would find friends and ask them to play or when there is a band on in the evenings he would ask the girls to dance because Henry loves dancing.
He would always hide behind me at home or wanted me to ask if they wanted to play. But he has conversations with anybody now and telling them that he is from the UK, just outside London but he was born in Norway.
I love hearing him tell people things because it is quite obvious that he is just saying things that we say.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes! I had a lovely relaxing day.