Welcome back to Travel Tuesday's! Today, I am still featuring our delayed honeymoon over to New Zealand and Fiji, but more on Fiji later...
After our first stop in the Bay of Islands, Bill started to come down with a cold and by the time we made it to the Waitomo Caves, it was a full-on head cold!!! While driving down to Waitomo Caves, in the middle of what seemed like nowhere, Bill and I realized we really didn't want to drive the entire north island.
Besides that and Bill's bad head cold, a couple days previously, the Arthur's Pass train we were going to take once we got into the South Island had a bad fire up in the mountainous region and was closed (and was going to be for months). This totally screwed up our plans, hotels arrangements, rental car swaps...you name it!
We really didn't realize how concentrated we had to be driving on the other side of the road, with harrowing turns and how long it was really going to take to get from place to place (even though we were listening to some great podcasts!). So, we decided after the Waitomo Caves, we would head back to Auckland and catch a plane to Fiji for a week of R&R and then jump a plane back to the South Island of New Zealand when coming back.
As for the Waitomo Caves, they were actually UNBELIEVABLE! I don't have many pictures from them, as we weren't allowed to film or photograph anything. But we had a walking tour inside the caves before getting into a boat (in the pitch black only guided by rope) and then went through the boat ride looking up at millions of luminescent glowworms, it was AMAZING! A total must see if headed that way in New Zealand.
It is a quite touristy destination and didn't do any of the black water rafting (looked cold and not much fun) or anything else in the area, but definitely plan to spend the majority of the day around that small town. There was a hike we went on afterwards and was a ton of fun looking at / going through these geographically incredible caves.
We stayed at an Airbnb, as there really wasn't much as far as hotels in the area. We were about 5 miles outside of the caves and the drive wasn't bad at all. I would definitely suggest that route, if thinking about coming to visit.
Now, onto Fiji. BULA! Bill and I made this last minute decision and figured we needed a little more relaxation (coming out of our busiest year yet back at home), especially since he now was full on sick and didn't feel like doing anything...I don't blame him! Fiji was a direct 3 hour flight from Auckland and we booked at the Intercontinental and wasn't disappointed!
The hospitality was just wonderful! When we booked the room a couple nights in advance of coming to Fiji, we joined the Club Intercontinental and it gave us access to all of the club level amenities (pool, canapés and drinks, breakfast, etc). We would definitely recommend joining the club if you are going to an Intercontinental.
Bill was sick the first couple days and did nothing but sleep, mostly. I hung out by the pool and read. THEN, of course, I got sick. Same cold as Bill....I ended up in the "wicker womb" or the "B hive" as we called our loungers and only got up for a dip in the pool or a mojito.
We ended up having a pool in our room with loungers, but didn't use it much. There was a beautiful outdoor tub, we certainly tested out (drink in hand). I will say, overall, a really relaxing part of our trip we desperately needed. I wasn't so impressed with the sand / beach area, but the amenities and hotel staff were really wonderful! If you do go there, their formal dining, the Sanasana Restaurant was um,um good!! Highly recommend it and you will be watching the sunset over the Natadola Bay.
Until next week when we head into Christchurch....