Thursday, 12 May 2016

NZ: Rotorua, "a day in the life of"

We take a break from normal blog life with this mini post, requested by Jen. (I also updated it with a post previous to this so don't miss it).  We were talking on the phone and she wanted a blog on the nitty gritty of travelling (a specific request was a photo of peeling wallpaper in a hostel)  Unfortunately I didn’t manage that as the hostel was actually quite well looked after, but there are some equally shitty pictures below snapped on my phone.  Here is a ‘day in the life of’ style post for you Jen!

7am – woke up to a start to my alarm.  Struggled to sleep as mattress was terrible and bed shook every time you moved. Pretty sure I heard a man orgasming in the early hours too…gross.  Have shower, brush teeth.  Luckily this hostel has single sex bathrooms but some don’t.  Though to be fair on the whole I haven’t had a bad bathroom experience in hostels yet. 

Our beds.  3 other bunks in the room

Teeth brushing selfie especially for Jen. 

8am – Anja is still skyping with her family so I pack up the car and make us porridge for breakfast. Someone in the hostel hasn’t realised that you’re meant to wash and dry your dishes so the sink is chockablock.  I am getting really good at making porridge – in the UK I always have the microwave ones but here we have proper oats that you boil in water. We add raisins and apples which go squishy and yum.

9am – we buy tickets to Hobbiton and zorbing at the hostel as you get a bit of a discount, and then we wander round Rotorua doing tasks like souvenir shopping and posting postcards (yeah sorry I haven't sent any).  The smell makes me feel ill. 

NZ post boxes. Harder to spot than UK ones

Thought there was a celebrity but it was just seagulls. Maybe it was a famous seagull. Who knows. 

10am - Anja’s booked a zorb so we drive to that first.  I am feeling lazy and sit in the car whilst she does it, only emerging to take a video and photo of her.  I attempt to plait my hair whilst I wait for her but fail.  I am bad at being a girl.   Her zorbing is over in 5 minutes and I can’t believe she paid $50 to roll down a hill in a ball.    Still she had fun and the go pro video is funny to watch.  It's what I imagine to be like in a washing machine.

Should be navigating but instead I take selfies 

10.30am – we make our way to Matamata.  I get distracted by something and stop navigating and we end up going 10k in the wrong direction, oops. Luckily we get there in time to catch up with Rinse for the second day in a row – isn’t he a lucky boy!  We go for a hot chocolate at his local bar and the owners stop and talk to him as he’s a regular. I secretly hope they’ll give us free drinks but they don’t.   On the way to the toilet they have a small stuffed deer which I bent down to pet as I thought it was a dog.

such a dutch giant

2pm – we start our Hobbiton tour.  It’s in the middle of a farm so you get put onto a little bus and driven out to set.  The driver narrates some facts and he’s quite funny.  The tour lasts 2 hours and we are walked around the village – it’s adorably cute and I want to live here.  They have lots of hobbit holes of all different sizes so that when the hobbits stood infront of a big one, they’d look small, and small hobbit holes for when normal sized people stood in front of them they’d look big.  Some hobbit holes were built just for background shots.  None of the holes have anything inside them, the inside scenes were all filmed in a studio. The tree on top of the main hobbit hole is fake.  All of the vegetables in the vegetable patch are real.  The people who own the land that Hobbiton is on are more than likely very rich now.  The tour finishes with a drink in The Green Dragon which is again, adorably cute. 

Yeah man! Taller than a hobbit. Sorta. 

This tree is completely fake. 

The Green Dragon

4pm – we leave Matamata and drive to a DOC campsite on  the way to Thames.  DOC campsites are brilliant – DOC stands for Department of Conservation and they’re the guys who’re responsible for keeping NZ pest free and pretty.  They have tons of campsites all over NZ which range from free to $10 with a range of facilities.  They also look after all the tramping tracks and the huts on the routes.  We usually stay in the $6 campsites which will usually just have a toilet (either vault or long drop, not a flush) and a tap for water, often undrinkable.  Sometimes they’ll have shelters and sinks.  Often the $10 ones have showers (usually cold) and a kitchen shelter, sometimes even a stove.  This particular campsite just has toilets.  We pick a spot between some trees (mainly because I think it’ll look pretty for the picture for this blog, but then I only take the picture on my phone in the dark anyways so it looks crap) and set up the tent.  My tent is super easy to put up – takes 5 minutes max.  It has 2 poles which cross over and you hook the inner tent to the poles, then peg the outer sheet over it.  Simples.   There’s about 4 other cars/tents at the campground so it’s not very busy.

Our home <3

6pm – We cook dinner on a picnic table – picnic tables are rare so we are lucky to have one.  We have 2 minute noodles with the leftover meatballs we made in the hostel – I just reheat everything on the camping stove.  It’s actually pretty tasty and meat is a rare treat when camping.  As it’s winter we are often in darkness by 6pm so we eat with head torches and the camping lamp. We sleep in relative comfort on 4 pieces of foam, and we have duvets for when it gets cold.    There’s an animal screeching in the forest next to the tent which is a bit disconcerting but it soon shuts up.

A delicious culinary meal in progress

Ohhh yum

I hope this gif works. it makes me laugh

7am – we usually wake up naturally around this time and surprisingly it’s usually me who’s up and about first every day.  We take the dishes from last night to the stream and rinse them out in the water, and fill up the saucepan for water for tea.  For breakfast we have rice milk with Weetabix and banana.  We have started doing ‘washing up’ with baby wipes when there’s no water available so I wiped the bowls with wipes which does a vaguely good job.  As it was such a gorgeous morning and I was really stuck into my book, we sat at the picnic table for an hour reading in the sun.  It also gave the tent a chance to dry out - the inside of the tent often gets wet with condensation which is annoying, and the outside gets wet with dew (or rain!).  We decided we ought to get on with the day so we take the tent down, pack everything back into the car, and head on our merry way! (which will be the next blog post which I need to write but I am so far behind it makes it seem like a chore)

First thing in the morning selfie. Normally I look much worse. 

Camp breakfast

The boot of the car looking vaguely organised.  I got really excited when I bought the plastic box as it's such a good size and fits the car perfectly. Sad times. 

the terrible state of the passenger untidy!

The back of the car is packed to the rafters. No hitchhikers for us! Also my barnet needs serious attention. 


  1. This was excellent Nainsy. I enjoyed reading all of it. it was almost like having you here telling me about it, with pictures. Keep up the good blogging work with all the juicy details! xxx

    1. Aww I am glad you liked it, it was especially for you :) xxx


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