- Wellington was so marvy but we sadly didn't have time to do all that is needed there, such as see the WETA studios (Peter Jackson is the modern patriarch) or tour the Te Papau museum. But very cool modern art and architecture adorns the whole waterfront and made for some nice morning touring.
- On to the Waitomo Caves where we did the coolest most unique thing ever: "Black Water Rafting" , which entails rapelling (or "abseiling" as they call it down unda) through dark caves and floating and walking through icy cavewater, stopping of course for the proverbial civilized tea and crumpets before slidingdown more waterfalls and floating on our backs on inner tubes to view the galaxy-like glow-worms (or more accurately, glow gnats which is of course, less marketable). Yes, we really looked this stupid (we still aren't sure why they made us wear those oversized shorts unless it was for their own personal entertainment).
- Note to future travelers: the website for the Waitomo Caves Inn is far nicer than the real deal. Stay somewhere else and spare yourself a Bates Motel experience!
- Divine intervention in planning our last leg on the Bay of Islands...about which we can't say more beyond the fact that it is PARADISE - pure and simple. Aquamarine waters. Dreamy catamaran cruises on the Bay with stops at islets to snorkle. Dolphins that really DO swim right up next to the boat and in large pods to boot. Great hiking. Bright inense sunshine. Fun, age-agnostic bars. Feels like the top of the Maslow ladder to me.
Do we hafta go??!?