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The Final Days

A Quick Wrap (now that we have recovered from Jet Lag!)

semi-overcast 65 °F
View Butz New Zealand/Australia Vacation on sandlb107's travel map.

Some Random Notes as we wrap up our trip by heading across the ferry to the North Island, stopping only to take in the caves we had missed before…

Oh my sea sickness- the Ferry was horrible- the kids begrudgingly did homework, and it was really quite a miserable day of travel. But wow was Wellington a cool payoff! A funky, geeky, quirky small but upscale artsy city as we soon figured out as we saw an amateur rendition of Star Trek in the park next to a playground, then headed to find dinner. We spoke to a local man who recommended we check out the local Professional Soccer Game. (Do you all like Footy, he asked, and Max was ready with a yes!) It sounded like an exciting impromptu thing to check out- and it turned out to be great fun (even though Sara was not at all happy with the decision to sit through yet another soccer game)! We watched the Wellington Phoenix whoop the butt of the Melbourne Victory, 5-0 and listened to some crazy fans chant for 10 FULL Minutes without resting...
Soccer Game

Soccer Game

Sara the Soccer Fan

Sara the Soccer Fan


In the morning we woke up, and headed to the Te Papa Museum. It was by far the SINGLE BEST museum I have EVER been to- even the world history museum in London- we could of spent days there- the kids were absolutely mesmerized with every nook and cranny of the place- every square inch design to WOW or educate persons of all ages. It was a shame we had to leave by 2 to head to Lake Tuapo, but we had to make tracks to fit in all the driving ahead. This part of the trip was literally driving, driving, and driving. We got to Lake Tuapo- a fantastic place, but we just saw the hotel pool, the showers and beds at the Hilton (which was designed to be a two night, reward-us-for driving stay, and we hunkered down. (We cancelled our second day and drove to Waitomo Caves) That is how Sam spent his 8th B-day- which we made up for by delivering a huge triple decker ice cream to the little guy 2 days later in Auckland.
Yep- sick a bit later

Yep- sick a bit later


In the morning we had en early departure, ate “brekkie” on the road and arrived at Waitomo Caves- we hiked and took boats through the stalagmites/stalactites, dark and gorgeous cathedral ceilinged caves with ‘glow worms’- a lightening bug type worm that lives on the ceilings and walls of these dark wet caves. Steve went Black Water Rafting, white water rafting in the dark of the caves (scary, but Jepic) and the kids and Mom went to hit golf balls, went to an Angora shearing farm and then went and got pizza (where the next day I realized I left my purse and cell phone-UGH!!) while we waited for the rafting trip to be over. And then we drove to Auckland.
The Caves

The Caves

The Butz Family Explores the Caves

The Butz Family Explores the Caves


Now our last day was supposed to be filled with shopping & a chartered sail on an America’s Cup racing sail boat- but with rain & 40-65 knot winds, the trip was cancelled. (Super Sad face  ) we just killed time walking the city, eating ice cream, and then heading to the airport to get back to the States!
Our chalk ggodbye

Our chalk ggodbye

Posted by sandlb107 10:55 Archived in New Zealand

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