A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: dogdudette

The End!

Home again, home again, zippty zip!

snow -50 °C

Ta da!!! This is my final entry, just to let you all know that we survived the gauntlet marathon that was getting back home! We are super stoked to be here again! Sorry I didn't write anything right away, but I've been kind of busy, what with sleeping off the jet lag and all!

This was such a monumental adventure for us... and definately the most enormous Learning Experience I have ever bestowed upon myself. We enjoyed every second of it! Our luck with airports and travelling went down kicking and screaming to the very end, though!

While standing in line at the Los Angeles customs our flight to Calgary took off. It was unfortunate... eventually we got the airlines to figure something else out for us, and they got us home by re-routing through Vancouver. Therefore, we were a lot later getting into Calgary than we had anticipated, but such is life. We had to essentially sprint through the Vancouver airport in order to make our flight, but we did! Unfortunately, our bags didn't decide to make the plane. They got delivered the next day though, and all is well

But yes! The moral of that story is I'm back! Woo Hoo! I want to thank every single one of you for following up with my adventures across the ocean! It meant a lot to know how much support I had! This concludes my Australia and New Zealand travel blog. Thanks so much for reading it! You will all most definately find out about the next adventure, whenever it happens!

PS... "mild" Calgary weather is like nothing most Aussies have ever seen ever. It was a shock to my system... It's not really snowing and -50, but my first few days back sure felt like it!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 12:15 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Everything Must Come to a Close...

The remainder of our New Zealand trip!

rain 25 °C

Wow. I am absolutely overwhelmed at the moment! We're back in Auckland after a whirlwind voyage around the North Island of New Zealand... and it's almost time to go home! I can't believe it... the thought seems completely unreal! We had a pretty major adventure getting around the island, and I'll give you the condensed version, otherwise you'd be here all day!

We left Rotorua early in the morning. Upon departure we learned that the horrid eggy smell was sulfur in the air from all the bubbling mud pits of doom. Here is a photo of one of them:

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We also got to check out the really touristy geyser explosion:

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And this is a random scenic stop:

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Anyways. We had it in our heads that we were travelling down to Wellington, however it didn't quite work out that way! The Magic Bus works on a slightly more structured schedule than we had initially thought, and we wound up getting into the town of Taupo later that day. Fortunately, there was no problem booking us into rooms for the night, or rearranging the other rooms and outings we had booked to fit our initial schedule. Taupo was alright... not a very big city, and there wasn't too much going on!

The next day we got into Wellington... which was one of the major highlights of the trip! We got to go on a Lord of the Rings movie tour, visitng tons of sites and filming locations! It was great fun!!! Here's a photo of us during the tour:

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And here is where they filmed the scenes in Rivendale, for those of you who know what that means:

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I won't post too many photos from that trip, because Kay posted all the good ones on her blog. I demand that you go and check them out! It will be well worth your time!!!!!

After leaving Wellington, we headed north again, to many different cities, with names I have trouble pronouncing. The easier ones included Napier and Mount Maunganui (or something like that...) arriving in Auckland today! It was an absolutely amazing little trip, and I really loved riding on the Magic Bus. The way our schedule worked out, we overlapped exactly with one driver pretty much the whole way, so we chatted a lot on the long drives! We had so much fun in New Zealand, and one day I'd love to come back with more time and money and check out all of it!

And there you have it! Tomorrow evening we will make our way to the Auckland International Airport and begin our long journey home! I cannot believe it. I've been away from home for four whole months... and I'm definately ready to head back again! When I sit back and think about everything that has happened... it blows my mind. This was an amazing adventure, and I'm kind of sad that it's coming to a close. There are times it feels like I haven't seen Canada in years, and other times when it feels like we only just left! Mostly, we are just so, so happy to be coming home, I can't even begin to describe it to you.

I will see you all very, very soon! I love you!!!!!!!

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Ps: I'm coming back from my lone!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 17:44 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

And the Countdown Begins!

Through Auckland and Rotorua.

semi-overcast 20 °C

It is rather incredible to think that I will be heading home in a week! This time next Wednesday, we'll be (hopefully...) through security at the Auckland airport and waiting for our flight to board! Though I won't dwell too much on that just yet. First, I'll report our New Zealand adventures to date!!!

We hung around in Auckland for five nights (which was longer than intended but I had trouble booking us into a hostel in Rotorua) and mostly just explored the city and hung out around the hostel. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the roof is totally the coolest place to hang out. Also, it offers a pretty good view of the city! Here's a few pictures of us on a roof in Auckland:

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And here is Kay reading in our dorm room. She doesn't like this picture, and ideally she won't kill me for posting it, haha!!

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At the cheery hour of 7:30 in the morning, our bus came to pick us up. As opposed to taking the Greyhound through Australia, taking Magic Bus through New Zealand is much more tourist-y. The bus driver is also a tour guide who points out stuff along the way, and stops at fun places to take pictures! Before we had even left Auckland, he took us up to the top of Mt. Eden, which was actually a pretty small, dead volcano. The sky was super pretty, and there was a fantastic view out over the city!

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(See? Super sweet clouds in the morning!!!)

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And that one is just a portion of all the houses in Auckland. I think there's something like 1.4 million people in Auckland, out of around 5 million in the whole country. Apparently everybody loves Auckland!!!

En route to Rotorua, we stopped at a tiny little town called Waitomo. It was around noon, and it had started to heat up again! The clouds disappeared... see?

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And finally one more of me... with some trees. This, I believe, is also during our stop over in Waitomo:

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And there you have it! Tomorrow we're leaving Rotorua (which, just so you know, smells like rotten eggs everywhere in the city...) and going down to Wellington. In Wellington we are going on a super-not-nerdy-in-the-slightest Lord of the Rings movie tour. It should prove to be very fun, and I'm totally excited! After two nights in Wellington we head North again to a city called Taupo. Then back to Auckland! Chances are very good I'll post once more during that time, but I'm letting you know the whole plan anyways! That's all I've got for now, though... I'll see you all real soon!!!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 21:45 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

New Zealand!!!

overcast 25 °C

So it's official! We've left one awesome country and are now attempting to conquer a second! Hurrah! We arrived in Auckland, New Zealand at 7pm two days ago. We are staying here until the 5th of February, when we're taking a bus out to a city called Rotorua. We'll stay there for two nights, then head on to Wellington. After two nights there we spend another two in a place called Taupo.

Then, it's back to Auckland for two more nights and then we're flying home! We've got it ironed out alright, I think! We've already secured rooms in Rotorua and Wellington, and today I'll be booking us onto the buses to get us there. It's a pretty fast little trip through the North Island... if we had more time we'd for sure be taking a ferry to the South Island as well!

Thus far, New Zealand seems pretty cool. The scenery is very different from Australia. There's a lot more mountains and trees and the like... and I can't help but to see it as Lord of the Rings-esque. Part of me wishes we could stay longer and go poke around in places like Hobbiton and Mt. Doom!!! Alas, the LOTR geek in me will have to wait till the next time we're on this side of the world.

I have a couple of photos I can show you, nothing too exciting I'm afraid. This is Kay and I waiting for our plane in the Melbourne airport (gee guess what... it was raining...):

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And here is our plane (and kay's elbow):

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You should be impressed with these photos. Very totally impressed. I took them blindly. This is because I apparently carry a curse with me, in that I cannot carry a digital device for more than three months without somehow managing to smash the LCD screen.

(This is the part where my parents laugh at the funny joke instead of being mad at me HA ha ha................)

ANYways... that's about it. I'll keep you posted on our quick trip through New Zealand, and I'll see most of you in a little under two weeks! Huzzah!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 18:39 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Tomorrow... we fly!

Goodbye Australia!!!

semi-overcast 25 °C

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for us to bid farewell to this absolutely astounding country! We have done so many amazing things, and learned more than we ever thought possible... so although we're probably not coming back to Australia for a long time, we won't soon forget it!

I'm writing today from Melbourne, still. We stayed here for a little over a week, and it was good fun! The hostel is grand, though I am royally fed up with sleeping in a 12 bed dorm room. It only takes a couple bad room mates to destroy your perfectly normal sleeping patterns, and we seem to be constantly stuck with about 9 bad room mates. So yes. I may have been cranky this week. I cannot remember. I blame lack-of-sleep-induced-amnesia. (...I wonder if there actually is such a thing...)

I haven't done anything huge and adventurous this week, so I'll show you a few photos I've got from around the hostel. The first one is the mess in which I am currently living:

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And then these next ones are of us on the roof... (the roof is where cool kids hang out, haha):

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And finally a panoramic view of the city. Or it would be panoramic if I had a panoramic camera:

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And yes! That's all I've got, really. Tomorrow at noon we're flying out of Melbourne and landing in Aukland, New Zealand. As is the norm when I go somewhere new, I haven't the foggiest idea what my internet situation will be. I can't imagine New Zealand will have any less internet that Australia, so I imagine you'll be hearing from me again within the next couple of days. Until then, have a good one!

~Steph

Posted by dogdudette 23:05 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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