|After another couple of hours driving we arrived in Auckland and decided (for the first time in a week) to stay on a campsite! It was so nice to have showers and electricity for the van to charge our ipods, cameras and to get the heater going in the van!
The next day we headed into the city to take in a few of the sights and do a spot of Christmas shopping! We were going to go up the Sky Tower, which is the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere but the admission was bit of a rip so we just admired it from ground level! After a bit of retail therapy we drove to Mount Eden to view the city over sunset which was really nice, albeit a bit chilly! We cooked up on the mountain and parked infront of someones house for the night, hope they didn't mind!!!
The next day required a bit of planning but we eventually decided to drive to 2 black beaches just outside Auckland (one was where the Piano was filmed). They were absolutely desserted which was great cuz the scenery was spectacular! The surf was getting rough just as we were leaving and we saw loads of trucks carrying surf boards heading down there!
Then we drove to Thames to see an old goldmine but when we arrived unfortunately it was just about to close so we carried on to Hobbit-ville (aka Matamata- the town were most of the scenes of The Shire were filmed in Lord of the Rings) We got a cool picture in front of the towns resident Gollam! We chilled out for a bit with a nice coffee and planned our next journey to Whakatane where we planned to take a day trip to the White Island, NZ only active marine volcano! Cool!