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To keep accommodation costs down while in New Zealand we decided to camp. Our plan was to buy a backpacker tent and sleeping bags. We thought we would use this while in Torres del Paine, Patagonia too so we were on the lookout for a lightweight tent that could withstand strong winds and sleeping bags to cope with sub-zero temperatures (for Patagonia, New Zealand would be fine!). Sleeping bags posed a problem since no kid’s ones handled sub-zero. Eventually we settled on a tent and four sleeping bags (though only two would handle sub-zero). Three roll mats were added to this and we were all set to camp.
While in Auckland we took the kids to the Maritime History Museum. They could see examples of the types of boats used to first settle in the Pacific Islands. They also learnt more about the legend of Maui. Legend has it that he caught a huge fish with his hook. His brothers cut the fish and it died trying to escape, creating the North Island of New Zealand.
As well as the history of immigrants to New Zealand we learnt a lot about the Americas Cup and just how much design goes into the construction of the racing sailing catamaran. The Americas Cup winning Black Magic was on display along with lots of videos on the subject.
Albert Park proved to be one of the kid’s favourite spots. It was a short walk from the hostel so we would go there a few times. Each time the kids would burn off energy running around or climbing trees.
The four nights in Auckland soon went by. We had just about recovered from the long flight and being overwhelmed by a reverse culture shock after so long in Asia. A shuttle picked us up from our hostel and took us to Ace Car Rentals.
With gear loaded in the boot we left Auckland behind and began our Kiwi road trip…