Our honeymoon: part 1. Auckand, Coromandel, Wangamata, Rotorua

The first part of our honeymoon

After having lived unforgettable moments during the preparations, the ceremony and the reception of our wedding, it was time to close the suitcases and leave for another dream: our honeymoon. That night we did not sleep much, in fact if I told you that we closed our eyes for two hours before they picked us up to go to the airport, I would be optimistic! The day after our wedding, between a round of greetings and the other to those who could not be there, it was late. Let’s put on the excitement of leaving for a wonderful journey and the fact that the suitcases were still to be filled and that’s it!

Road to Auckland

The dawn sun illuminated the canals of Venice. To see them from above is splendid … to see the Earth from above is wonderful! An unusual point of view that continues to make me stand with the nose stuck to the window of the airplane. I will skip the story of our 40 (and more) total hours of travel since we left home when we arrived in the hotel in Auckland, as well as our (ok, my) compulsive hunger at the airport, how I got burned the tongue drinking one of those Starbucks style coffees and how I managed to resist the temptation to buy me a Michael Kors screaming my name!

We were literally landed on the other side of the world and could not wait to explore it!

Driving on the right … it took a moment to get used to it, even to the eye!

The hotel was full of very photogenic details, from the retro style with modern touches, like this umbrella stand, to a splendid internal staircase. Not to mention the breakfast room !!! I would have taken home that turquoise armchair!

It was about 9 am when we started the Auckland tour. We had set out to walk a lot to get tired and take down jet lag, so as to re-establish balance after crossing twelve time zones. And so it was. In the evening we looked at the path we had done in one day and wow, we had certainly disposed of all the wedding dinner!

Auckland is a very special city, with period buildings that flank new buildings. A city full of movement (and construction sites of new buildings under construction) and full of places to drink coffee or eat something!

This is the Sky Tower, the main attraction of the city! You can really see it from anywhere in the city so it’s high and getting on it with an elevator is an experience (then I show you why!). But that day the visit to the highest point of the city was reserved for the afternoon, just before sunset, so we passed by to continue our walk!

I told you that you could see it from everywhere!

One of the areas that I liked most of the city was the port, where they were anchored a tide of boats and the way along the promenade reserved many interesting points to photograph, including even these culinary temptations!

After visiting the port area, we headed to the university area and Albert Park. This park is wonderful and if you are going through Auckland it is worth a visit! In October the spring was beginning and you could see the first cherry trees in bloom. In particular there was one really gigantic in the shadow of which some people were relaxing … how to blame them!

… and yes, even from there you could see the Sky Tower!

In this park, a particularity were the immense trees on which people sat and chatted. Needless to say that I tried it too and it is a wonderful experience!

Relaxation is contagious!

We still had time and the sun was still high, so armed with a lot of energy, we headed to the Auckland War Memorial Museum, where we could retrace the history of New Zealand from the beginning, between Maori culture and world wars.

Our city Trieste!!!

The visit to the museum was very interesting and then the walk to get there, among those wonderful trees, was definitely suggestive. The sun was starting to go down and it was time for us to get on the Sky Tower!

The view from the elevator was incredible, but even from the top of the tower was not joking! A 360 degrees of the city. From up there we saw the dozens of miles traveled in that single day and wow, we had definitely walked a lot!

It makes a little impression don’t you believe? Let’s say that if someone suffers from vertigo this is not really the ideal place, but deserves a visit anyway!

… and then there were also these reckless people who liked to be suspended in the void … or even throw themselves !!!

Our plan to get tired a lot the first day worked, too much I would say, and immediately after dinner we fell asleep in a moment as soon as we touched the bed of the hotel.

Since the first day we had visited many parts of the city, we decided to see it from another point of view, so we took the ferry and we went to Devonport, the peninsula right in front of Auckland. It was full of low houses and all the colors, including my turquoise !!! Photo!

The view from here was not bad! We decided to wait for the sunset from here … maybe we would have escaped a nice photo at night, so we went around the town looking for curiosities (and we saw them !!!).

It was late evening when we returned to Auckland and almost by chance we came to this avenue … beautiful! It seemed to be in a magical place with this stretch of lights! End of perfect day!

Road to Coromandel Peninsula

The following day the real tour of New Zealand would start! That morning we woke up with a special energy, ready to take the car and try the experience of driving on the right. Andrea immediately entered the perspective of this change, if it were not for the fact that when you had to put the arrow wiped the windshield! 🙂

We were heading towards the Coromandel Peninsula, the favorite destination for those who love the sea, sunbathe and relax! Our destination was Cathedral Cove, a rock arch that offers a truly impressive last. To get there, we walked for an hour along a rather easy and relaxing path (really suitable for everyone), totally immersed in nature, and then emerge in a wonderful beach.

The water was a little cool, but I had to touch the ocean!

That night we would sleep in Wangamata, a couple of hours drive from that beautiful beach, so we took the car back to the new destination.

The beauty of New Zealand is precisely the journey from one location to another. Every kilometer there is something new and beautiful to photograph and that is why despite waiting for several kilometers to travel a day, the trip was extremely pleasant. Look, for example, below what light and what a landscape!

That evening, we collapsed from the fatigue and the last effects of the jet lag without even realizing it … maybe we should not have said “I’ll put myself on the bed for a moment”. But Andrea had been provident and had set the alarm at dawn, to photograph it. An unrepeatable show!

The owners of the place where we stayed had a Golden … needless to say that between the dog and Andrea was love at first sight! But there was something else that was waiting for us on that day … the visit to Hobbiton!

The Hobbiton tour was exciting. We imagined that a Hobbit would come out of those houses at any moment and the landscape … wonderful!

Turquoise door = photo!

Little curiosity: the tree you see above the house is fake. Yes fake! This means that even all those tens of thousands of leaves are fake and have been painted one by one by a person involved in this. As our guide told us: “If you think of doing a boring job, think of this boy who painted the leaves of the tree!”

The last stage of the Hobbiton’s tour was the inn where there were offers of very good beers … the Hobbits know it!

Next stage: Rotorua

The next town that we were preparing to visit and where we would stay for a couple of days was Rotorua, geysers city, thermal springs and Maori culture. We wanted to taste everything that this city could offer us, so even on the advice of the lodge owners where we were staying, we booked a tour where we could see a geyser erupt naturally (in some places the eruption is caused by the action of man ) and start to get to know the Maori culture a little bit. In addition, among other advices, there was also an obligatory visit to the thermal spring, in pools with different temperatures. At the bottom, it was right next to another Maori village (with a typical dinner) that we wanted to visit, so it was perfect!

These are the Alpaka of the owner of the Lodge … they are very nice!

Let’s start with our first approach to Maori culture: Te Puia.

The famous (as impossible to see) Kiwi!

This pool of water, from the perfect temperature of 37 degrees, is sacred and only a Maori can access it!

The eruption was near … to see how much power has managed to give off nature was splendid! We stood there admiring it for half an hour, from different angles. It had a charmer!

The next morning we woke up and the view from the room was the first of many beautiful things we would see that day. A visit to the spa park and then to the Maori village awaited us.

This is the typical greeting Maori … as our local guide explained to us: “not a head, not a kiss, but a light touch nose to nose”. Clear! 🙂

The representation of a typical greeting and how the local tribe welcomes a “foreigner” was exciting! Their culture is rich in traditions and rituals, dedicated to respect and the affirmation of their own supremacy. What I really liked about the Tamaki Maori Tour was the way they explained their traditions, involved us in their typical activities, including games and dances and made us enjoy the cooked food according to their tradition. It seemed to me to be for a moment, one of them.

This is Andrea very amused after trying on his skin the experience of the typical Haka dance … let’s say there are aspects to be improved here: P

In these holes the food that we would have eaten at dinner, covered with several layers of leaves and sheets, was cooked. The taste was really special!But before eating, we were delighted with a wonderful show, characterized by typical songs and dances!

The ending was exhilarating … this big man arrives at the center of the stage and with an extremely nice saying he says “dinner is ready!”. Incredibles, a tour that I definitely recommend to fully enjoy the Maori culture!

We were really happy that evening. We had lived incredible experiences and we were immersed in a culture so special and different from ours that had left us a lot. It was a pity to return immediately to the hotel, so, since it was on the way back, we allowed ourselves a walk in the woods ten meters high, in complete silence: the Redwoods Walk.

Suggestive, right? The perfect conclusion of that day!

See you soon for the second part of our honeymoon!

Have a nice day,

Ilaria

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