Backpacking New Zealand10:44 AM on Wed 28 Mar 2012

Backpacking New Zealand.

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach Resort Rooms Manager Aotea Gordon-cooke just went on a trip of a lifetime.

At first a flight over international waters was incredibly intimidating and at the least I can say I was nervous as hell. But arriving in Auckland, New Zealand the morning of Valentine’s day 2012, that soon became the last thought in my mind. The north island in New Zealand was incredible, like a second home.

Paihia, Bay Of Islands:

First roady was off to Pahia (Bay of Islands), and the landscape through the ranges, was all that it had been cracked up to be, and well Bay of Islands, 90 Mile Beach Sand Dunes (wicked fun sand boarding) and Cape Reinga. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was truly spectacular!! Our stay was with Base Backpackers Paihia and the Pipi Patch Bar. A great stop for some beverages, food and a HOT TUB.


Back to Auckland, where we spent some time in Papakura, then a day over on the amazing Waiheke Island, before hitting the city of Auckland. Which if you’re a party goer has enough hot spots to keep you entertained ALL night with a comfortable sleep at Base Backpackers Auckland. Will not be soon forgetting that one! And the Travel help was beyond informative, big ups to Taila J


Jumping on a bus to Rotorua, only a 3 hour trek south of Auckland through the scenic north island and here we are, Hot Rocks (Base Backpackes Rotorua) and the Lava Bar. Let the 6 day adrenaline rush begin. A little sight-seeing through Rotorua, then off to hit Agroventures for an afternoon of raging fun!!! My friends and I raced one another at the sweeb, then took a ride on the jet boat (awesome speed), up to the freefall (such an amazing feeling), over to the Swoop (OMG, I left something up there) and lastly a 43 metre bungy (I never thought I’d be cut out for that, but I did it, and it was intense)…. All the team at Agroventures, you rock and we love you!!!

Tamaki Village, Rotorua:

Nightfall, we board a hilarious Maori driven bus on our way too Tamaki Maori Village for our first cultural experience and incredible flavours of a maori Hangi. For those of you that don’t know what a Hangi is, FIND OUT!


Moving on to Waitomo to tube the caves with the  Legendary Black Water Rafting and what an underground experience that turned out to be. Our guides Josh and Logan were up for all kinds of laughs and we even got to have a nibble with the resident glow worms in the darkness of the cave. Such an experience you would never want to miss. The 3 hour tube through the cave system in Waitomo, unforgettable!!!


Another afternoon’s adventure was our trip to Hobbiton. For those Lord Of The Rings fans out there. This is a must. It was such an awesome feeling being on the set of a blockbuster film, and being given the permissions to create your own little LOTR memories. I’m not sure my friends and I would make the cut but the insight behind the film, and the adventure we took ourselves on was incredibly exciting.

Bay Of Plenty, Rotorua:

Did someone say Rafting??? Well that’s what we were thinking as we were taken off to the Kaitiaki Rafting team for an extraordinary morning of white water activity. As we first launched the raft into the Kaituna River, we knew the experience would be one we’d never forget. 7 metre waterfall??? What waterfall?? Oh you mean that waterfall…. Hold on, make sure not too loose your german friend and rafting guide???? For those of us that were there, and the banter that backed it, Hana you won’t live that down… That raft was un-stoppable, nothing bad could ever be said nor forgotten.


Skydive Taupo, UNBELIEVABLE. You’ve started an addiction and crave. I’ll be back and I’ll be bringing others with me. The view of Lake Taupo, breathe taking to say the least and the crew. The best at what they do. You truly made the experience that much more significant.

Back up to Auckland for me to spend some reflective moments on the journey I’d just taken and the memories I shall share. New Zealand, it’s NOT JUST A ROCK!!!


Aotea Gordon-Cooke

Tags: New Zealand , Sky Diving , Rafting


Melissa: 01:13 PM, Thu 29 Mar 2012
Aotea, you make me want explore my own country a hell of a lot more. next time, the south island. You'll love it. :p

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