I was excited about doing this tour but I didn’t know too much about it, and I was really happy with the whole day.
Firstly its only half a day tour which starts around midday, so you can get a nice lie in which is good if you have been out enjoying Auckland’s nightlife.
We were greeted by our tour guide for the day at our hostel, I am rather annoyed as I can’t remember his name but he was a fantastic tour guide, he was full of interesting information about Auckland and it was a really nice surprise as I was not expecting to be told all of this information. I was expecting to get picked up and taken to these wilderness places and we would be left to roam around for a bit on our own and explore.
But we got on the little mini bus and he popped on his headset with microphone, and as we drove out the city he was telling us lots of information about the place which I found absolutely fascinating.
He told us about millions of years ago back when the dinosaurs were around new Zealand and Australia were joined together but ended up breaking off and when that happened new Zealand only had dinosaurs which became extinct and they did not have any native animals which meant that they missed out on the evolution of plants and mammals, which meant that their Forrest is the same as what it was when the dinosaurs were around, and the rest of the world does not have the same plants and trees because we have had evolution of mammals who ate lots of the plants and trees causing them to change with time.
I found that absolutely incredible to hear, and that Auckland is actually an active volcano which will probably erupt in a few hundred years, which I think is quite scary but also fascinating.
So our first stop was at the Arataki visitor centre where we walked along the wooden walkways to look out at the incredible views of the ocean and the Forrest.
We could see 2 different oceans from where we were as Auckland has such a small width. So we could see the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea which was pretty cool to see, and the views were also incredible.
After this we all hopped back on the bus and drove to a rainforest where we took a hike up through the trees and the running water streaming through the forest up to the top where we could look at the waterfall which was a pretty good sight, and we were again told more information about what this water fall was used for by the Māori people, they used to chop trees down at the top of the water fall and let them build up until the pressure from the water would push them down the waterfall, which was a quicker way for them to get all these logs down to the bottom.
On the way back to the bus we stopped of next to a big tree and again told some interesting info about the trees, from the one side you looked at it and looks like a really strange tree but what happens is that another tree started growing around it and it eventually strangles the old tree which then dies and disappears leaving the new tree. We saw this and then there was actually another tree that was wrapping its self around this tree – karma baby!
We walked back down and then sat down for about 15mins and had some biscuits, and some L&P (new Zealand’s own soft drink, which is lemony goodness) we were also given some NZ honey to try which was really good and they use it for things like sore throats and colds etc.
Then we moved onto Piha beach which is a volcanic beach with black sand, although it didn’t look too dark to me but the sun was shining on it so maybe that’s why, as when I picked up the sand it did look quite dark in my hand.
It was really nice to sit around here looking at the volcanoes and the black sands.
After this it was time to head back but not before stopping off somewhere to see a really big Kauri tree, it was huge and we were told it was around 300 years old which was crazy how big it was, you couldn’t even see the bottom of it.
After looking at this we then hopped back on the bus and were taken back to our hotel, but not before being told about how New Zealand got so famous for its wine, and we were shown one of the first wine sellers houses on the way home which was very interesting also.
So I thought this tour was really good, and well worth the money.
I really do wish I remembered the bloke’s name who took us on the tour as I think he made it what it was.
I would 100% recommended and give it a big 5 bees.