Merry Christmas! (and a happy new year)

Merry christmas to everyone! I’m having a bit of difficulty getting into the right mood, but i try my best 🙂

I’m currently in Melbourne with my old violin teacher and her family – it’s nice being able to calm down again and stay in the same place for several days in a row! I arrived late on the 24th, and then christmas day was just spent lazying around (and eating a lot!), swimming in the pool and resting. Yesterday (26th) we had a trip into Melbourne, which i really like – it’s quite small but really arty and pretty. We went up this 280m tower to get a 360 degree view of the city – it doesn’t look all that nice frmo above but it was still quite cool.

I’ve been back in Australia since the evening of the 23rd. I was very sad to leave New Zealand.

Lake Taupo wasn’t a veyr exciting day for me as it was raining almost solidly the whole day. I did a tiny bit of walking but spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in the hostel watching movies!
I caught my own bus the next day to Rotorua because there was no magic bus service that route that day. There’s a lot to do there, especially as it’s the Maori cultural capital, and also because it’s a center of geothermal activity, but as a result it tends to smell a bit. I went to this really cool maori thermal village in the afternoon, and we had a hilarious guide. It’s really interesting to see how they used the water and mud pools for their benefit – they have this cooking pool which is naturally at a constant temperature of around 100 degrees (it’s not known how deep it is), and they have these natural ovens in the ground where they can steam meat and make deserts, and they also have a constant supply of hot water for baths! Pretty cool – you can see some of it on pictures.
The next day i went to the Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland. The first bit was a bit disappointing because they have this geyser that ‘goes off’ at 10.15 every day, but basically they make it go off by adding soap to dissolve the barrier between the 2 pools of different temperature. The rest was cool though, seeing all these natural different colors of yellow (sulphur) and orange and red (iron-oxide) etc.

Then i went to Mt. Maunganui for the afternoon which is a beachside town further north. It’s a really popular place with kiwis to go for christmas and new years so it’s not always that nice, but after having been to glaciers and rainforests i was really happy to get to a beach again for a bit. It also had prtty good surf!
And the last day i popped into Auckland for like 2 hours before having to rush to get my plane. And that was the end of New Zealand! New Zealand’s been really good to travel around, especially because it has these isites (information sites) at almost every town that has some sort of tourist attraction, so there’s a ton of information where-ever you go, almost meaning you don’t need a guide of any sort! Plus it’s reasonably cheap and they speak english – one of my favorites so far!

So the current plans are to go to Sydney for new years and then Asia on the 5ht of january! Pictures are up as well by the way…

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