Fragments from the Australia Diaries 2000 (part 25) - NZ North Island


My brain is bursting with all the activities this country has to offer. You come here as a mouse and you leave a lion...

  • Swimming with Dolphins in the Bay of Islands, who didn’t show
  • Finding out my ATM card was faulty, and having a half hour altercation across the phone with some clown in a bank in Sydney
  • Driving for hours through 3 towns to discover there was “no room at the Inn” anywhere cos of some old biddys bowling competition
  • Spending the night in a town where the “late night bar” closed at 10pm
  • Travelling hundreds of miles only to bump into the creepy Canadian we left Auckland to escape from 
  • Europeans (we can be an annoying bunch)


Lian redesigned the dental chair
  • Discovering the New Zealanders love the Irish accent
  • Zorbing- propelling yourself down a hill in a giant plastic golfball like thingy, probably the safest of the thrill seeking adventures, a good place to start and even kids can do it
  • Meeting Jane and Brian, Brian using his Irish charm/persuasion to get us in everywhere on the cheap
  • Finding the original “small town”
  • Staying above a wild west style saloon
  • Exploring glow worm caves in Waitomo (a must-must-must, rumour has it when Danni Minogue paid a visit to the caves she burst into song out of the blue and the acoustics were outstanding!) 
  • Geothermal walks and gushing falls in Lake Taupo
  • Geysers (the volcanic variety) and Hot Springs of Rotorua, compulsory for every visitor to NZ and entirely worth it, (you get used to the sulfurous smell), if you never went anywhere else in NZ's
  •  North Island go to Rotorua!
  • Singing karaoke in a Chinese restaurant to Que Sera Sera (owners choice) with the backdrop of  some dodgy video (also owners choice)

Right, I'm off to wrestle a croc... 

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