Bates Family South Seas Sabbatical travel blog


Well, we went to the rugby and had a good evening, but the best team won and it wasn't us. O'Driscoll scored a great try but Steve Thompson couldn't throw and the rest of the team didn't seem to be doing much better, unlike the Maoris who were completely charged up and ready to win. I have no doubt that Gordon will have more to say on the subject, but this is Gully and my entry whilst K is having an early bed after last nights's excitment. For fear of sounding like my father, the parking was unbelievable at the match- despite 31,000 crowd, the school opposite the stadium was offering parking within 2 mins walk for NZD $5, equivalent to 4 pounds- not quite what one would expect in Twickenham!

Anyway, it was all a bit hideous last night, cold, lots of driving and a fairly basic camp site, so I was all on for returning the gear box from hell and it's surrounds and getting a BMW and a hotel, but today the sun has shone and we have arrived in Waitomo. THe campsite has a hot spa and freezing cold swimming pool (both boys have been in for $5 bets- al la Dinsdale in Vail) and a huge trampoline which they have bounced on all day allowing some serious sorting out of the campervan for the first time.

We managed a lovely walk before supper to the top of the hill- lots of mist in valleys and lovely views and as it had got dark by the time we came back down we spotted some glow worms on the rocks (forgot to mention that Waitomo is the glow-worm and cave capital of NZ) which was exciting!

Nice pizza restaurant and a bottle of wine later and it's all feeling much better!!

We have decided to stay here for a couple of nights and then set of for Tongarairo national park that was where they filmed a lot of the Lord of the Rings. We realise that we have far more on our itinerary than we can manage, so need to plan a return to NZ!!(perhaps that should be in their summer- although at least the campsites are deserted!

LOts of love Ness and Gully xx



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