North Island, New Zealand
We liked New Zealand South Island very much, so we decided to go to North Island also.
Going to the South Island, we had reached Christchurch via Sydney with Qantas, but this time we went to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific, then to Oakland with Air New Zealand. That was cheaper than going to Auckland by direct flight from Japan. Also, the direct flight would be too short for sleeping. In addition, I wanted to get a new iPhone at Hong Kong airport. The price is not so different from buying one in Japan, but it was attractive that there is no shutter sound when taking a photo.
I bought an iPhone as planned and then took a flight to Auckland. Air New Zealand was one of the best airlines I've ever taken. If there is an opportunity I will fly with them again.
We have friends who went to New Zealand on their honeymoon. They said that they liked South Island better than North Island and I feel the same way. However, it is a beautiful country rich in nature. Both North and South Islands are wonderful places. I was happy that there were no black flies on North Island.
We went on a tour to Hobbiton, a Hobbit village that became famous in “Lord of the Rings”. I searched a lot, but a tour was the only way to visit there. It was so cute and it looked like hobbits could come out of the houses at any time.
There were two mountains similar to Mt. Fuji in Japan. Mount Nauru Hoe and Mount Taranaki. We wanted to climb Mount Taranaki, but gave up because we had no equipment. We stayed 4 nights in the nearby town, New Plymouth.
It was cloudy on the day we arrived, and I asked the visitor center about the weather forecast and they said, "The mountain will surely stay covered with clouds for three days." We were very disappointed.
At first it was covered with clouds, but after a while I could see some mountains. The next day there was a wind and the mountains had no cloud. To my surprise there were some Canadian geese on Lake Mangamahoe. I remember there were Canadian geese on Lake Yamanaka near Mt. Fuji. Did they fly to both of those places from Canada?
Anyway, I would like to go there again.