Hello from Auckland! The place we're staying is cute, but man the drivers here aren't big fans of staying in their lanes.

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Weirdly, there's Dunkin' Doughnuts, Wendy's (as in the American one), and Carl Jr's here. O_o

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Today we went to Piha Beach, which is a black sand beach, and up to Arataki, which has some really nice views.

We also went into Auckland city centre, and man, the amount of construction going on makes Sydney's look like we're doing nothing. Ended up giving up on that and going back.

Food 

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We drove down to Rotorua today, and stopped off part-way at Hamilton Gardens. It's SO COOL, there's a heap of different types of gardens from times and locations around the world. We also walked through a redwood forest and had a fantastic dinner in Rotorua itself.

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We went to see geothermal springs today! It was really impressive, the sulphur smell was astonishingly pungent though. 🤢 We also visited Huka Falls.

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Today was mostly spent driving back from Rotorua to Auckland, but we DID stop part way to go on an alpaca tour and we got to feed and pet them! They're so soft!

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We’re at the hotel for our final night, and I’ve had a shower and oh my god it was one of the best showers I’ve had in a while!

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And now our last dinner was another New York pizza from Sal’s, and watching the highlights of the One Day International India vs. New Zealand and T20 South Africa vs. England cricket matches. Kristina is slowly starting to understand the rules, lol.

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We are at the airport waiting to board the plane! No photos, but we visited the Auckland Museum in the morning to kill time after we checked in, and it's REALLY neat. There's a huge Maori and Pacific Islander exhibit on the bottom floor, the usual assortment of dinosaur bones and such, and a fascinating section on volcanoes.

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I've uploaded my proper photos from our first day: flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/

More to come tomorrow when my body clock doesn't think it's past midnight. :P

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Day 2 was Piha Beach (black sand beaches are really neat), the Arataki Vistor Centre in the Waitakere Ranges, and a brief jaunt into Auckland CBD until we decided we were peopled out. flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/

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Day 3! If you're in or around Hamilton at any point, go visit the Hamilton Gardens, they're seriously fantastic. Whakarewarewa Forest is really cool as well, it's a big redwood forest with walking tracks through it. flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/

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And the last batch of photos are up. Day 4 was geothermal springs (very cool, also very smelly), and Day 5 was a (very small) wildlife park and an alpaca farm!

flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/
flickr.com/photos/virtualwolf/

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