Friday, November 6, 2015

New Zealand - North Island Day 8 (Part 2 - To do/see, to stay, to eat)

To do:
Spellbound glow worm and cave tours
15 Waitomo Village Road, 3977, New Zealand

There is 2 caves visited on this tour. The first is the cave of the spirit (Te Ana o te Atua), there are plenty of stalactites and stalagmites. Though in one of the larger section known as the cathedral you can see the glowworms dotting across the roof of the cave. In certain treachorous areas, you can see sink holes and how deep is the fall if you are unfortunate enough to slip through.

After walking through the first cave, we had a short tea break before proceeding to the second cave. 

The second is river cave where we need to take a raft. There is plenty of time to be mesmerized by the glow worms.

Did you know? The glowworms are not affected by light nor sound. Its the vibrations that make them glow brighter.

Photo credits to Spellbound Waitomo
I enjoyed myself during this 3.5 hours tour. It can be so serene just quietly looking at the glow worms in a very dark room. This is one of the trips where i used minimal effort but the maximum vantage view. Looking at the glow worms, i was reminded of the term silversea 银海. The colour of the glowworms can be green or blue. Depending on how you see it. To me there are lovely white stars that doesn't twinkle.

Otorohanga Kiwi House and Native Bird Park
20 Alex Telfer Drive Otorohanga 3900, New Zealand

We visited this place simply to see the Kiwis. We can't be going to the land of kiwi and yet not see any.

Though i was aware that kiwi are nocturnal creatures. It came as a surprise to me that kiwis can be also aggressive and ferocious. Poking and using its claws to attack the staff when the staff went into her enclosure. This occurred during the feeding time.

The rest of the time at this place is to walk through this bird park. But our stay here is quite short as we reach there 1 hour prior to closing and we are lucky still to catch the feeding time.

To Eat:

The River Kitchen - 3.3 stars, mid-range
257 Victoria Street, Hamilton 3204,  New Zealand  

It look like a regular cafe. We reach here pretty early so there are plenty of seats for us to choose. 30 mins after our arrival, the cafe is already at full house.
 Nice latte and cappuccino.
Big brekkie
For the mains we ordered, Big Brekkie (free range eggs, bacon, pork and fennel sausages, potato cake and toasted ciabatte) and buckwheat pancakes with vanilla maple poached pears and spiced ricotta. I like this set particularly the toasted ciabatta and fresh fried eggs. The thick thick bacon oozing with fats is also a plus.

Buckwheat pancakes

This is something new for me. Never had pancakes made this way. But i feel bananas still goes best with pancakes. This is solely my own personal opinion. The pancakes is very thick and cripsy on the outside. But after the 2nd slice, i'm starting to feel really full. The 3rd piece is too too much for me to stomach.

The General Store - 2.5 stars, budget
15 Waitomo Village Rd, 3977, New Zealand

Food is quite sad but there is nothing else to eat nearby. Service is extremely slow as there is only one staff doing everything. Our food took an hour to serve. I ordered bedeviled sausages with tomato and potato mash. The most fail safe food but unfortunately i didn't manage to finish the dish. The life saver for lunch is our plate of french fries. No pictures to show as i lost my mood while waiting for my food.

Thai Street - 3.0 stars, budget
12 Jellicoe St, Auckland 1010, New Zealand

This place is a random pick while we strolled through the streets as i run out of ideas to eat and we couldn't really quite agree on any place.

Finally we decided on asian food to fill our stomachs for the evening. I can only guess what we ordered: phad thai, skewered pork, grilled beef and tom yum soup.

The food is quite reasonable taste but not impressive. I love the first dish the most and its recommended by the staff.

To Stay:

IBIS Ellersillie Hotel
72-112 Green Lane East, Ellerslie, Auckland 1051, New Zealand

Hot water flow in the bath is very stable but drainage is a little slow. Room is clean but bed is one of the worst on this trip. Its a little soft and lumpy. Sinks deep when the weight is added.

I love the free parking but its a little hard to find on our first day. Probably due to a wedding dinner and it being a weekend.

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