Our family’s New Zealand adventure

After months in South America and taking buses, we were eager to finally take a plane. We were so excited for a change of scenery and discover a little part of New Zealand.

Our flight was at 23h55.

Prior to our departure, I read the information here and emailed info@mpi.govt.nz to be sure about the things we could take with us. I, then declared few things so as to avoid any issue in the custom,even the bamboo fan of Karen. 🙂


Arriving at the hostel, we found out that Carlo made an error in our reservation dates. We missed one night. After admiring the grandeur of our first hostel in New Zealand, we went out and explore a bit our surrounding, searched for a grocery store and went back to the hostel.

While Carlo was napping, I took the girls to the zoo.

It was not only the girls who have enjoyed the zoo but me as well.

Juicy Snooze

There’s a well equipped kitchen in the hostel. The family room is actually immense and for the first time after two months, we have a lot of space.  We were hoping to stay for one more night but apparently all rooms were occupied. It was then that we decided to leave the following day for Tauranga.

During the late afternoon, we took a walk and ended up in a night market. There were stalls of Asian food which made us so giddy. We lined up for dimsum and siopao. Then, I let Carlo and the girls looked for a  table while I get some bbq and bubble tea. No, there was no beer for sale.

We stayed for a while and listened to the live music. Surrounded by my fellow Asians. It felt like home.

The following morning, while checking out, the staff advised us to first book our bus tickets instead of heading straight to the terminal without reservation. He then called the ticket office, reserved our seats and afterwards, we walked to the terminal.

We stopped from time to time. Checking some shops and going ga-ga over sushi display. Erin and I went to buy some sushi, while Carlo and Karen went to a dollar store. Erin joined them while I waited outside.

Along the way, we found a bookshop called Jason Bookshop. The girls found one book each and we continued on our way to the terminal. Stopping once for some smoothies and reminiscing the abundance of fruit juice stalls in South America.

Our bus  for Tauranga was at 12h25. Our driver, Nigel is a funny fellow and his announcement during our trip would elicit some laughter from the passengers.

After almost 4 hours, we finally arrived and being Saturday, almost everything was closed by 15h. We took a taxi, after passing by an Asian shop, to our accommodation.

I have booked our accommodation thru Airbnb. At first, we thought that we could do everything easily by foot or public transport. Then after grocery shopping and walking to and fro New World, with two bags (one for each adult) and two small ones for the girls we both agreed that renting a car was not a bad idea.

We spent one afternoon, walking in the Moturiki Recreation Reserve.

We also drove to Rotorua and along the way stopped at Kuirau Park. We tried the thermal foot bath in the park then the girls played for a while.

At Rotorua’s visitor centre, we asked info about the Kerosene creek and bought some cute post cards.

It was raining cats and dogs as my husband drove away from the center while I held the map and guided him, positive that this time my map expertise would not fail us.

After having our lunch here, we continued on our way. And it was a loong one. As luck would have it, I missed the sign for the creek.

Desperate for that warm water of the creek, we followed a sign of a  mud pool ,thinking it was like a thermal bath, so we went, ready to take a dip. And we learned that it was not.  Then we drove on. After driving for almost an eternity, we turned back and finally found it. There were some cars parked near the creek. The latter was not that crowded but I thought that rain would not hinder some people to visit the river.


While the three were already enjoying the warm water and I was changing into my swimsuit, it rained again. I put everything in my  backpack and covered it with my umbrella. Didn’t even  bother changing into my swimsuit top, I joined the rest of the tribe in my bra. We had a lovely time, laughing as we bathed in the warm water of the Kerosene creek  and all the while letting the pouring rain add its magic around us .

Erin and I slipped as we changed. We laughed it off and wet back to the car with our muddy clothes.

Then as we were heading back to the house, a twin rainbow appeared. What an spectacle to end our day of adventure.

31.10.2018 Tauranga. It’s our last day here and the sunniest morning of all 4 days of our stay. We would have liked to have a weather like this one during our excursions. Anyway, the chickens are having a blast. Check out time is 10h as usual. The plan is for Carlo to drop us near the bus stop and he’d return the car in the garage.

sWe went to the library of Tauranga while waiting for Carlo. It is next to the tourist office. We were so excited for different reasons. The girls for the free wifi connection and myself being surrounded with books and magazines. The two shortly read their books and afterwards Erin being the smartpants hid the Ipad with a magazine while her Ate continued with her book.

When husband arrived, we headed to the seaside and had some drinks and nacho in La Mexica.

Our bus to Auckland was at 12h40. It arrived in Manukau City around 15h49. From there, we took another bus, direction airport. We have booked a hotel near the airport for our last night in Auckland.

We waited at gate 11 , where the shuttle service of our hotel picked us up.

During our 10 min stop in Thames, Erin went down with Carlo and it was then that the accident occurred. She later told me that she was holding it until she gets to the toilet. I saw her vomiting and thought of getting down while Karen napped but decided against it. I told myself that Carlo could handle everything. 

01.11.2018 5h27 Hotel. Our plane for Tokyo is at 9h50 today. I reached out to my Facebook group for Japan tips and realized that I should have plan better. Anyway, let’s hope for a fun Japan sojourn.

Mauruuru koe ki Aotearoa!

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