Well, so far this trip has been amazing!
We got into Christchurch really late at night, about 11:30, and got all checked in and straight to bed. Problem was, as you know, in Aus I don't sleep till at least 2am, which is 4am NZ time, so I got no sleep what-so-ever, because I wanted to get up nice and early to go looking around Christchurch a bit before heading off to sunny Auckland. I decided that I love Christchurch, and one day would consider moving there - even if there are no people in the city at all.
The flight to Auckland was ok - the plane was ancient, and larissa nearly chucked in my lap, but on the whole it was ok. First night (yesterday) we spoke to the lady in the booking office at the youth hostel, and told her all we wanted to do in Auckland.
She saved us about $100! and got us doing so much more than we thought possible! We went to the sky tower, but made a dinner reservation there first, so entry to the tower was free. The view at night is amazing. Then we went up to the revolving restaurant and had dinner and a couple of drinks there, before heading off to bed at about 12. (I went to the chemist and got some sleeping pills) Diner cost us $77, but tower entry was going to cost us about $50 anyways, and we had to eat, so we did well.
Today we went on a free tour of Auckland (booked in the YHA through NZExperience). I was a little concerned that being free it would be shithouse, but was proven so wrong. Included in our free tour was all transport, a walk across the Auckland harbor bridge, a trip to davenport to see the war defense posts, and then back through the city, with our driver pointing out stuff all along the way, and telling us about how we can score more free stuff in all our other locations :D So as you can imagine, I am happy about it. But now it is raining, so I am in a net cafe just catching up with the world.
Tomorrow, I am heading out to rotarua, via the waitomo caves. Should be great.
Complete photo set here http://picasaweb.google.com /shaun.omeara/2007072420070808N ewZealandTrip
Most are bad, all are unedited, uncropped, etc.