Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Last Real Day in NZ

It's our last real day in NZ. We're in Queenstown now - it's a great town. I really like it. We were going to go to Milford Sounds today but we got a bummer call this morning canceling the trip due to the weather. Sad, but I guess it saved us a ton of money so maybe now I can justify genuine UGG boots :)

We've had the best time here - but I think we're ready to get back to the States. Love you all and see you soon! (only 24 hours of sitting and then we'll be back in utah)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Heaps of pictures from Auckland till now....I'll have to write captions later or explain them when we get home. Love you all! Have a great day!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


We're just leaving Rotorua. We've had a great time here. We stayed at a pretty nice little hotel that's right on one of the lakes. Pretty views and they have a geothermal hot tub that you can reserve, that was lots of fun too.

We went to the museum here - it's in the old bathhouse. It had interesting information on the area, the volcano eruption in the 1800s, the culture in general, and the history of the bathhouse. The bathhouse treatments were crazy - electroshock therapy, all sorts of different acids, colon flushing, and other crazy stuff. The top of the bathhouse had great views of the city though. Then the Gillards came up from Hamilton and took  us to lunch, which was really nice of them. After lunch it was pouring rain but we still went to Whakarewarewa. That's a village where the people still depend on and use the geothermal that they have in the area. They have several really really hot pools - 100 degrees Celsius and 150 degrees Celsius on the surface. We also saw a cultural performance there and a geyser. It was pretty neat, but my new shoes didn't hold up all that well in the rain :).

We also went to Wai-o-Tapu, a geothermal reserve about 20 minutes out of Rotorua. There we saw another geyser go off and we did a big hike around the area. It was really nice, pretty interesting too all the formations that have occurred because of the geothermal stuff. After that we headed back into Rotorua to go on a gondola ride to the top of a mountain and do some luge rides. The luge rides were awesome. We did 2 rides - the first was a scenic ride down the mountain and the second was an advanced ride where you go flying down the tracks and around tight corners. It was pretty sweet - I even caught some air (I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to though).

It's been a really fun area. Great fish and chips shops, great views, great hikes, and lots of fun.

Now off to Hick's Bay - it should be a really pretty drive around the cape, and then to Gisborne tomorrow.

Love you all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Little Update

We've been having a great time so far. Yesterday we left Hamilton where we'd been staying with a family that Ryan knew on his mission - the Gillards. They were great. While we were in Hamilton we had a good time catching up with one of Ryan's old companions - Elder Brown (I guess he's just Josh Brown now). He's married and they just had a baby boy around the same time as Danielle. We also met up with a guy that Ryan knew up north who has since moved down south. His wife cooked us a great lamb roast with a fantastic salad. It was delish. All these people have been really nice and generous. We also went to the temple one morning and Ryan randomly bumped into a Kiwi guy that had been a missionary at the same time. Funny coincidence.

Yesterday we left Hamilton and went to Waitomo and Taupo. The drive out to Waitomo was beautiful! Tons of greens fields and rolling hills with sheep, cows, and changing leaves. It was really pretty. Waitomo has a bunch of caves there so Sis. Gillard hooked us up with some free tickets to see the most famous ones. We walked through this huge cave with a tour guide and then took a boat ride in the river underneath a ceiling of glowworms. The glowworms were awesome. Unfortunately, they don't allow anyone to take any pictures, so we have absolutely no proof. - Guess you'll just have to trust us that it's a must see attraction (especially when you get free tickets).

After the glowworm caves we made our way to Taupo. Taupo has this huge lake in the middle of it with mountains surrounding. It's a pretty place and has a gorgeous river. While we were there we decided to go bungee jumping. It was crazy! Ryan went first...I think he was pretty scared because he kept asking the people tons of questions - such as "does it hurt your neck", "can this thing really hold me up", and my personal favorite "has anyone ever peed their pants". So they strap in your ankles, connect you to the bungee, make you walk out to the edge of the platform and tell you to smile for a picture then you count to three and fall off. It's nuts. Ryan must of stood up there for a good five minutes before jumping - I think that's probably not the best strategy, it just makes you more scared. But he did jump, and he loved it. When it was my turn I was shaking like crazy. Before you jump they ask you if you want to touch the water, get dunked halfway, or go all the way under, when you fall. I opted for the touching the water because I thought that the getting dunked thing just looked scary and like it hurt. The lady told me that there was some variance in what could happen but they'd try to just make it so I'd touch the water. Then that was it - I stepped to the edge and fell (and let out the loudest scream I think I ever have). And instead of touching the water (like I had planned/wanted), I got fully submerged. It was crazy, especially since I wasn't expecting it. My shirt came pretty much off, and if it hadn't been for g's I would've flashed all the Korean tourists at the top taking pictures. 

Overall it was a ton of fun, as soon as I got to the boat Ryan asked if we could go again. He loved it.

Now we're in Rotorua - the tourist trap of the nation. We have a full day planned, so we better get going.

Love you guys! - we'll post picture/videos when we get to a wireless place that we can hook my laptop to.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

New Zealand

So 4 years and a 12 hour flight later, ryan finally returned to N.Z(ed)....
Here are a few pictures to prove it.

Here was the first day, right off the airplane, when we stopped at One Tree Hill - aka No Tree Hill. It had a great view of the city.

This is in a town called Devonport. We walked the beach streets, went to a market, and went up to an old lookout where they had some canons (and a gigantic tree).

Then we went to Shakespeare and did some hiking up to a lookout and picked up some shells along the beach. When we were leaving we ran into a curious peacock that came right up to the car to check us out.

Then off to Piha - a coastal town kinda up in the hills with amazing views of the ocean and mountains. We walked along the beach, checked out the surfers, and then hiked up Lion rock.

We hung out with one of Ryan's converts - William. We had a great time, he's a super guy who really loves the gospel and loves Ryan for teaching him.William is part Rarotongan (Cook Island) and part Niuen.

Next we ate with the Rangi family. They were the family that Ryan baptised. It was really great to meet them, they were very special to Ryan and it was wonderful to see how the gospel has changed their lives.

Then today we went to the Asekonas for a feed. They are a Nuien family that lives in Ryan's first area. It was great island food and we had a wonderful time with them - lots of singing and they did a mother's day program. They also gave us some presents and were very nice.