Our Last Day in New Zealand

The scenic coast!Well, our time in New Zealand has just about wound down to a close. Last night, Brooke and I jetted about an hour north of Auckland to have dinner in Warkworth. We dined with another set of new friends whom we had met when we first arrived in the country. Our last dinner in New Zealand was at an upscale pub where we finally had a chance to sample the fish ‘n chips we had been salivating over from town to town. Deliciousness followed. Driving back, we were greeted with the gorgeous site of the Auckland nighttime skyline welcoming us across the bay and into our final New Zealand hotel stay. I know I’ve said this a dozen times in a dozen posts, but it is a beautiful country.

We leave New Zealand about a thousand times more knowledgable about the culture, people, geography and history than we were when our plane landed in here thirteen days ago. And we’re still learning new things. For one, it turns out that when a sheep gives birth, the result is always twins. Never just one baby lamb, but two. We’ve also determined that given the Kiwi bird’s propensity to sleep up to 20 hours a day, Brooke might actually be part Kiwi. (Note from Brooke: “At least I wish I was. At least then people wouldn’t judge. Oh, they judge.”) Last night, we also learned about the Feijoa: A fruit that boldly claims to be like none other. Since the feijoa are out of season we won’t get to sample. But I’m continually surprised by the sheer number of fruits that I’ve never heard of. Last week, Brooke discovered and fell in love with the Tamarillo. A tart citrus fruit with the essence of a tomato. Unique, no?

Post Cards writing and Long Black Drinking BrookeWe managed to see a little bit more of Auckland on our last day including stumbling across an adorable shop called The Garden Party in the Ponsonby section of town. We limited our purchase to an Andy Warhol styled Sheep Coaster set (trust me, they’re awesome. Come to our new place for drinks and we’ll break them out) but the store had some endlessly great gear. We ordered one last Long Black coffee at one last café, sent a few postcards, and I even found a respectable enough looking barber to give me a much needed haircut. Our last day to-do list included wanting to try a Meat Pie for lunch which, despite it’s off putting name, is a much beloved local favorite. No stranger sounding than a Sloppy Joe, I suppose. We weren’t able to make that happen, but we’ve added it to our next time list. Our to do list for when we return to New Zealand is getting longer by the hour! We have a whole Southern Island to explore!

I think one thing I’ll remember most about New Zealand is the roads. We’ve been told that an old Kiwi joke is that road builders here get paid not by the mile of road they lay down, but the number of curves they install. Every day outside of the cities is a bit of adventure driving. Yesterday, we came across the commonly seen sign for “falling rock ahead.” Less than a mile down the road, we nearly plowed into a giant friggin’ boulder the size of a small Honda Civic. The mammoth rock was firmly situated about a third of the way into the road. Yikes. Also, in driving over 1,200 KM we saw a singular Kiwi Bird Crossing sign. Ah, I should have taken a picture of that one. Moving forward, my stress dreams may consist of riding around curvy mountain hills that you can’t see around, only to discover a double-long logging truck barreling down the other side of the two-lane road with 300 foot drop-offs.

Off to the AirportIn our next post, Brooke and I will share our favorite moments from New Zealand. But for now, Vela has been returned to the Spaceport, we’re at the Auckland International Aiport well in advance of our flight and will board our China Southern flight back to Guangzhou and then to Tokyo, Japan. Brooke and I are looking forward to our path to Tokyo and our stay at Camp Zama tomorrow. Next stop: The land of the rising sun! Onward to new discoveries and new adventures.

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Categories: Driving, Eating, Japan, New Zealand, Reflections, Transportation | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Our Last Day in New Zealand

  1. Liz F

    I’m calling a challenge on “sheep always have twins.” I’ll bet you both imaginary beers that that isn’t true.
    Good luck in Japan!

    • Hey Liz,

      So, we’re only referring to NEW ZEALAND sheep here! We can’t speak to what any other worldly sheep’s breeding habits may or may not be. Besides our information is infallable- a credible local Kiwi in a bar. Also, we prefer to bet real beers which can be consumed at Amsterdam Tavern! Thanks for keeping us on honest with our facts…

      -Phil

  2. erinbrachlow

    Farewell, Vomit Comet!! Hello, Asian Station(Wagon)??

  3. I just today remembered your blog. I thought there would be FB reminders, but alas, there weren’t. I read the whole damn thing today, hence why some of my comments were not, erm timely. I am posting this to Reddit and hopefully you will get many more page views and comments, which I know you love. We got our postcard and it turned smiles higher. 🙂

    • Hey Chris,

      Glad you’re checking out the blog! I know you’ve had a few other things that occupy your days, nights and evening that are little bundles of joy related. Thanks for posting to Reddit! (It’s true – we do love the page views and comments). We might have to start doing that ourselves…once we figure out exactly how Reddit works. Onward and thanks for keeping up the love. Tell the interwebs about us. We’re sneaking some Wifi in a Tokyo hotel lobby right now…tee-hee.

  4. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. Can’t wait to see how you like Japan and your time with Gaye. Looking forward to your next phone call. Love you.

  5. Anonymous

    I feel like I’m reading a good book and waiting for the next chapter. It’s all so interesting. Did you get into any schools or discussion w/people about why/how they’re rated so high educationally?

  6. Aunt Becky

    I guess I need to enter my name so I don’t appear “anonymous”.

    • Hey Becky!

      Thanks for the kind words! We’ll try to keep the book & story interesting for you! Brooke almost got into a couple of schools in New Zealand, but it didn’t quite all come together. She’s planning on spending some time in a school (sans students) on the military base in Japan. Great stuff lies ahead….

      -Phil

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