Our departure day from Auckland did not go as planned.
We scheduled ourselves to leave our hotel at around 9:15, and had successfully packed up and checked out, when a truck hit the back of our (still parked) car.
Thankfully, we were still in Auckland so we could swap out our car for another with as little pain as possible. However, due to this four hour delay, our driving schedule was pretty messed up, and we found ourselves looking at our four hour drive through the mountains as rather intimidating.
After two hours, we stopped at Cathedral Cove, an incredible archway through the ocean and beach that, during low tide, you can walk though. It was a 45 minute hike out to the cove, but it was totally worth it.
You have probably seen this archway before, as it was featured in Narnia’s second installment, “Prince Caspian.” If you need a memory refresher, check out this clip:
Day five of traveling found us munching on a late brunch. We grocery shopped a bit before strolling the touristy shopping area. After browsing for a bit, we sipped flat whites and absorbed the incredible fact that we are in New Zealand!
Early evening brought a hike around the base of the hulking mountain-like hill, and after the hike we soaked in the Hot Salt Pool.
Because it was Christmas Eve, we attended a late night Christmas carol service at a church just down the road from where we were staying. They played some of my favourite Christmas songs, so it felt special and very festive.
On Christmas Day, we hiked up the “mountain,” (which, if you are wondering, is actually called Mauao, and is over 330 meters tall) after having a lie in. It took a little over an hour to summit, and the trip was all uphill. However, the beautiful scene of the city below was worth the hike.
The evening finished off with some beach relaxation (even though it’s a mere 70F).
It’s still strange to by in a place that is warm during Christmas, and even more weird to be away from family at a time that is usually focused on family.
Thankfully, New Zealand is an adventure that I am sharing with some of my closest friends.
Merry Christmas, from New Zealand to wherever you are!