…… I had extra 5 weeks off after I left my previous job in mid Jan, and before my new job started in March. I initially just wanted to have one week back to my hometown to check out on my parents then head back to Singapore to be a homebound tourist (everything is expensive in Singapore especially if you’re jobless!). But thanks to the virus I was stuck in my home land for more than 4 weeks! (⇀‸↼‶)
What did I do during my holiday? Oh I really wished I could hopped on to trans-siberian train for a week or two, stayed for another two weeks in Москва and Petrograd, learned Cyrillic Alphabet, but instead I was too afraid going to the airport with strangers I wouldn’t know where they’re coming from – or maybe I’m just getting old and those non-sense anxiety started to hit my reality?
But really. What did I do during my holiday! I learned to cook few Indonesian and Thai dishes, chocolate pound cake and a failed loaf, hung out with a handful of friends (I’m quite picky in choosing friendship because not all deserves my time and attention – no I’m not gonna describe it any longer here), went shopping with my parents, watched Japanese tv series, and lastly but took most of my time was playing The Sims and blogged about it. (*¯︶¯*)v
So that Thursday afternoon, I had this impromptu thoughts of getting out from my hometown and explore another city, like Yogyakarta, for example. I’ve been there many times with my parents but haven’t really got a chance to explore the city. And luckily I had a friend who said yes to that! ヽ(≧◡≦)八(o^ ^o)ノ
This is based on the best early account of the story sourced from Sir George Grey’s ‘Polynesian Mythology’, first published in 1855.
Hinemoa was the daughter of a great chief who lived at Owhata, on the shore of Lake Rotorua. She was very beautiful, and because of her beauty and her high rank, many young men desired her as a wife. One of these was Tutanekai, but he knew that though he was of good birth, his rank was not high enough for Hinemoa’s father to accept him as his daughter’s suitor.
So for a long time Tutanekai hid his love. He saw Hinemoa only when there were great meetings of the tribe, for his home was far across the water, at Mokoia Island in the middle of the lake.
When the people gathered together he would content himself with gazing at Hinemoa from a distance, and yet it seemed to him that sometimes she would return his looks. But he thought to himself, ‘There are many other young men more worthy than I of winning Hinemoa’s heart. If I approach her to declare my love, perhaps she will be displeased.’ Read more
Saturday, 17 Aug ’19,
Today we had to catch the afternoon flight. We had ample time to enjoy our breakfast in the hotel before we headed to the bus stop. (*・∀・)爻(・∀・*)
We booked SkyBus bus to transfer us from Auckland city center to airport which cost us S$18 per person. To help my readers, please see here to find SkyBus time table; https://www.skybus.co.nz/auckland-city-express/timetable
And see here to find where you can hop on the bus and alighted; https://www.skybus.co.nz/find-your-stop
SkyBus ticket is an open ticket, it can be used anytime before the expiry date – 3 months after you bought the tickets. This bus is very convenient especially if your itinerary keep on changing and suddenly you decided to try the local train to (or from) the airport. ☆⌒(≧▽° )
Here are some of the leftover pics I have on my phone and please respect the proprietary. (*_ _)人
Rotorua Museum Government Garden Tours Read more
Friday, 16 Aug ’19,
By 6:20AM we already sat outside the i-Site Rotorua, waiting for our shuttle to go Hobbiton, GlowWorm and Ruakuri Caves, then transfer back to Auckland with our big luggages. ٩(ˊ〇ˋ*)و
We took this activity 2 Caves & Hobbiton END AUCKLAND from VIATOR and cost us more than S$334 per person. We thought this was a good offer since we don’t need to worry about our transfer back to Auckland and additional cost if we took bus or train.
Our first stop was Hobbiton Movie Set in Matamata. It took us about 1 hour to travel from Rotorua city center to Matamata.
Thursday, 15 Aug ’19,
Finally a sunny day!!!
We decided to wake up late this morning and missed our mud pick up at 8:50AM. We desperately needed our beauty sleeps many days with long walks. And also we needed to wake up early morning tomorrow and the day after tomz. (￣▽￣)
On this beautiful sunny day we walked around the city and checked out Rotorua Lake.
Rotorua Lake is the second largest lake in the North Island of New Zealand by surface area, and covers 79.8 km2. The lake was formed from the crater of a large volcano in the Taupo Volcanic Zone. Its last major eruption was about 240,000 years ago. After the eruption, the magma chamber underneath the volcano collapsed. The circular depression left behind is the Rotorua Caldera, which is the site of the lake.
Wednesday, 14 Aug ’19, drizzling in the morning
Today we are going to 2 different farms. We booked both tickets from KLOOK; Rainbow Springs Nature Park including Kiwi Encounter (cost us S$52 per person) and Agrodome Farm Show and Tour Combo (cost us S$36 per person).
As recommended online, it is better to come to the Rainbow Park early in the morning (they open at 9AM) and quietly watch the Kiwi bird before the crowd comes. So off we go to to the Park from i-SITE via bus #1 and only took about 10 minutes to go there. ╰(*´︶`*)╯
Tuesday, 13 Aug ’19, raining and raining and raining.
Today we’re off to Rotorua early morning, after our breakkie. ヽ(o^ ^o)ﾉ
We booked our bus from interCity to take us from Auckland City to Rotorua. The bus fare is around S$24 one way, per person – we took the morning schedule; departs 8AM from Auckland and arrived in Rotorua 12:15PM. The bus stop for interCity located on the west side of Sky Tower, very close from our hotel at Wyndham.
We passed by Hamilton on the way from Auckland to Rotorua. The 4 hours journey mostly was raining. We saw 4 different rainbows within 2 hours. It was one of the memorable journey I ever had. (ღ˘⌣˘ღ)
This picture captured my real life: even in your holiday, you can’t run away from deadline. 😂
Monday, 12 Aug ’19, raining-stop-raining-stop-raining.
Today we took another tour from KLOOK; Taste of Waiheke Day Tour from Auckland. This tour cost us almost S$160 per person including tasting 10 different wines, countless olives, ferry tickets from and back to Auckland, shuttle around Waiheke Island and lunch. (*≧ω≦*)
The morning started as usual with quick breakkie at the Coffee Club. From there we walked to the Queen’s Wharf to redeem ferry ticket and depart from Auckland Ferry Terminal by 11AM. <(￣︶￣)>
The ferry took us about 35 minutes from Queen’s Wharf, short stop at Devonport, then finally to Waiheke Island. The sky was so blue this morning and the grass was beautifully lush green. Waiheke Island is the most populated and second-largest island in the Hauraki Gulf of New Zealand.
A lovely 74 years old lady with blue signboard “Taste of Waiheke Day” greeted us then brought the 10 of us to her shuttle.
Our first stop was Stonyridge Vineyard.
Sunday, 11 Aug ’19, sunny & windy.
So much for our sleepless night and woke up early on weekend just to received a phone call about our skydive; the itinerary was canceled due to bad weather. Such a heartbreaking morning news for both of us since we didn’t have any plan B. And this skydive was one of our must-do activity we were looking forward! ╮( ˘ ､ ˘ )╭
Thanks to Veron. She quickly suggested both of us to take our ferry ticket to Devonport – the ticket we weren’t so interested yesterday. So off we quickly rushed to Queen’s Wharf, changed our tickets and waited for the ferry at the Port 2.
The ferry took us just 12 minutes from Auckland’s port to beautiful Devonport. From the breathtaking sea and city views to the stunning beaches, boutique shopping, charming accommodation and café culture – it’s no wonder it’s rated one of the top spots to visit in Auckland.
“I’d give up chocolate but I’m not a quitter”
Saturday, 10 Aug ’19, another rainy days
There was our favorite breakkie place just next to our hotel, the name was Coffee Club. We went there almost everyday when we were in Auckland. ♡ ～(‘▽^人)
Stef, my friend whom I accidentally met (around) 5 years ago at Jakarta airport and instantly became facebook friend, decided to spend one of her precious day with me and Veron, today. She arrived around 9:30AM when we were having our breakfast at Coffee Club. This was our second time met in person and she was such a lovely young lady!