Ok, we tried to give these some kind of order, however it was just impossible. We tried nearly all of these things, however couldn’t go to Kaikoura due to there being an earthquake a week before we arrived.
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful places on earth and we felt well and truly spoilt when going to see some less spectacular sights around Austral Asia and South East Asia.
We recommend to do New Zealand and Fiji LAST. New Zealand is best to visit around February/ March if you want warmer weather, otherwise be prepared for the rain.
Don’t forget to check bookme.co.nz as you may find trips cheaper, especially if you book in advance.
- Dolphin swimming
- Whale watching
In the afternoon we drove to Lake Aniwheniwer which is a cultural stop. A Maori family own a hostel and have close links with the local community and mori for their tribe. So in that afternoon they take you to look at some stone wall carvings and then to the mori where they welcome you onto the land by singing and everyone completes the hongi.
That night they cook a hangi which is a traditional meal cooked in the ground. This was pretty tasty; mainly the stuffing!
This one night stop costs $95 dollars so it’s pretty pricey but quite a unique experience. If your tight on money, work out your alternate route (Rotorua to Taupo) in advance otherwise you won’t end up saving money. Unless you plan to hitchhike!
There were great (paid) activities you could do throughout the afternoon such as bracelet weaving, bread making, poi making and in the late evening eeling.
Can definitely recommend the bread making as it tasted so good ( its fried like doughnuts) and the late night eeling – used to feed the next stray bus so no waste.
Day 6 AM: Lake Aniwheniwer day trip to a maori school.
This was a very unique and nice experience to share with the kids from the school. Their school was fantastic and it was lovely to hear about their progress with their academic achievements because of the visits.
Day 7: Blue duck station (farm)
Quiet day just enjoyed being in the middle of nowhere. Did a long and very muddy walk to a waterfall.
If you are not on the Stray bus it’s not necessarily worth the detour. There are hikes there but we couldn’t do them due to the bad weather.
Day 4: Lord of the Rings tour on route to Rotorua
From Raglan we drove onto Rotorua. We didn’t have much time to do anything that night because we spent 3 hours wandering around Hobbiton – so fun. Definitely for everyone and not just the hard core LotR fans.
Use bookme.co.nz for this trip
Day 5 Rotorua
The next morning we went on a geothermal walk. It was interesting to learn about and see all the pools but the walk was a bit lengthy and sometimes difficult to hear the guide.
We tried to stay in Rotorua a bit longer as one night feels really rushed, however, the bus behind us was full so we had to stick on our bus.
Before you get on the Stray bus have your route completely sorted with all the buses booked in where you want to have extra stops because unless you’ve got months to play with, time starts to constrain you to the same bus. We loved our bus, the people and the driver, Lolly, were great, but we did get a but stuck!