Cape Reinga 
We made it up to Cape Reinga by around lunch time. The cape is gorgeous. We walked up to the top for a view, then a little lower to the lighthouse. From there we headed to the nearest DOC site. It was a bit of a steep, gravel drive down to the spots, but it is a beautiful area. We relaxed for the afternoon, then headed out for a walk when the sun was a little lower. After our walk, we swam in the tidal river, which was just a little warmer than swimming in the ocean.
Making dinner has been interesting. We only have a single, small camp stove, so it's basically impossible to cook two things at once. He crammed everything into the saucepan to cook. It was good, but the bottom did get a little burnt since it was too full to stir.
The mosquitoes were terrible last night! I don't know how they were getting in, but they must have been somehow. We managed to sleep anyway.
-Miranda

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The start of our New Zealand adventure 
We headed out of Auckland and basically just drove. We got to Waipu and read that there were limestone caves nearby. We decided to go explore some. It was super muddy! There was a stream running through it, so we did walk through the ankle to knee deep water quite a bit (it was often far easier than walking through the mud).

We only got about 1/2 km through the long cave before we decided to head back. The super neat thing about it, was that there were glowworms. If you shut off your flashlight, it looked like you were viewing the night sky.

We stayed at our first Conservation campsite (DOC site). They are scattered all over New Zealand and average $15/night. This one was next to the beach. The super crazy thing was, you just parked anywhere on the grass, so long as you were at least 10 feet from another camper...

Our second day was mostly driving and gearing up the van a little more. We did stop at some waterfalls that had a 5km trail through a mangrove forest. Joe swung off a rope swing into the water sort of below the water fall before I walked the entire trail and Joe dropped someone off at the other end, and met me half way. The mangroves were very neat.

We are now at another DOC site on KariKari Peninsula. We got here basically at dusk, so we'll probably explore some in the morning.

-Miranda


The cave.

The forest and very cool rocks near the cave.

The mangrove forest.

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Campervan! 
We finally found a campervan! It comes with a bed in the back (with a real mattress, not an air mattress like some), kitchen stuff, cooler, chairs and a table along with some other odds and ends. So, our plan is to leave Auckland tomorrow and head north. Along with the sale we also got a mobile phone. So, that should be handy, especially once we have to try and sell it.

Tomorrow is my first day of driving on the left!

-Miranda



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Earthquake 
I just wanted to update the blog quick to let people know that we're in Auckland on the North Island, so we're nowhere near Christchurch where the earthquake happened. So, we're safe. The only effect we had here was the phones were out for a bit.

On that note, we haven't really been doing anything but working and going for short walks. We have decided to buy a van that is outfitted with a bed and some camping gear. After talking to numerous people in the hostel, that sounds like the best, and cheapest, way to go. So, that's our main goal right now.

-Miranda

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Sick! 
Joe woke up yesterday morning feeling pretty awful. Since the only thing we did different for the last number of days was dinner the previous night, our guess was food poisoning. He spent most of the day sleeping, then we got a ride to the airport.

Our flight left on time and was about 3 hours. He didn't feel great, but made it without a problem. We took the 'super shuttle' to the hostel we're staying at. It was $37NZD, but from what we could find out about the buses, it was cheaper than that... The bus system in Auckland is very confusing.

Anyway, the hostel is nice, though last night a group came in and was basically right outside our window (open window) being pretty loud at 12:30. Apparently it takes three Brits to help a drunk girl... Anyway, we walked to a nearby, very small market store to find some oatmeal. Joe felt pretty bad after that walk, so since then we've just been hanging out in the room and trying to figure out what our plan is.

Joe did find out that camping is apparently the exact same here as in the states. He's tempted to get a camper van type thing and then just sell it before we leave. That's apparently very common. The only kicker is, I have to drive since he lost his license with his wallet. Not only that, but they drive on the left here. We'll see if we go that route or not.

-Miranda

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