Sunday, December 19, 2010

NZ travel blog 25Nov-1Dec

Assalamualaikum semua,

A bit of my travelblog mainly for my reference.

On Thu 25 Nov, me, wife, 4 daughters & mother were ready to start our holiday. Took a taxi to KLIA at 3pm. Our flight is to Bandar Seri Bengawan, Brunei which took-off at 6pm.

Reached BSB International airport at 8.30pm. Since our connecting flight was at 11am next day, we decided to sleep at the airport. We were given the transfer lounge by ourselves. For me, it looked like a huge room, with TV that we can watch, a shower & toilet for a good bath and surau for performing Tahajjud. Subhanallah, sleeping at the airport lounge was nice for all of us.

I woke up at 4am and waited for Subuh. As it was a Friday, I managed to recite Surah Sajdah, Mulk and Waqiah before the azan. After performing the Subuh prayers, I woke everyone up and get ready as by 6am, the lounge was full of people. At 8am that day, I got the privilege of watching the Minister of Brunei waiting to greet the coming back of Brunei pilgrims. Masyaallah, he really hug everyone. Imagine our Minister having to do that...

Flight from BSB to Auckland went smooth. Landed in NZ at 1am Saturday. NZ time is 5 hours ahead of Mal/Brunei time + 9 hours of flying time. Royal Brunei Airlines had one channel on Quran reading and I tuned to that channel all the way.

My sister took us all to her apartment in Central Auckland. At noon, she brought us to the other side of Auckland sub-urban. We went by ferry to Devonport. We played freeze-be and had a good picnic by the beach. Also we went up Mount Victoria near Devonport & took lots of pictures. It was a good climb for me especially for my heart.

Sunday, 28/11, we went shopping in Auckland High street. But the shopping street closed at 1pm as there was a Santa Parade starting 2-3pm signifying that Xmas sales was officially started. It was a good parade, but the temperature on that day was EXTREMELY hot!

Monday, 29/11. Went to Slyvia Park, another posh shopping mall, kind of like BB in KL.

Tuesday, 30/11. Went to take the Campervan. It was a like a mobile home for 6-people. Had to learn about how to maneuver the vehicle. From Auckland, we went to a small town of Matamata. This town is famous for the shooting of the film Lord of the Rings. I did not see the movie, but they have this character called Hobbit & the town has the Hobbit statue. From there we proceed to Tauranga & Mount Manganui. This towns are by the beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful white sandy beaches and we had a good time near the beach.

Then we proceed to our final destination of the day - Roturua. We stopped at the camping site. It was my first experience to park at the camping site to connect the electricity to the van. Wife & daughters started to cook and when we finally ate, it was the most wonderful meal. This is what they called barakah, cos we did it all together, cook, eat and finally clean. This was also my first experience having to sleep on a caravan. All of us had a good sleep.

Wed 1-Dec. 1st destination, Skyrides Roturua. The kids love this. We have to go up to the top of the hill. They have a cable car called "Gondola ride", which we took. At the top, the kids went downhill on a Luge, which basically is like a cart with brakes. They have 3 paths and the kids went down on all three paths slow, medium & fast tracks. After finishing 1 path, they went up again by a lift. As for me, I had a good walk downhill and back uphill.

In the afternoon, we proceed to a place called Agrodome. My wife love this the most. This place is a farm, and they converted this to be a farm tour. They showed how to sheer wool from the sheep professionally and they can do it in 3 minutes. They also showed how to milking the cow. Then there is this farm tour by tractor, to feed the sheeps, llama and cows. It was really wonderful feeling to feel the animals come to you and eat food from your palm. They showed the kiwi trees and how they produce the kiwi juice. They also have bees to produce honey.

After the farm tour, we went to ride Zorb, which basically is a giant ball. You are in the giant ball and you move with the ball downhill! Apparently it was 4.50pm & they close at 5pm. They say they are done for the day.. Back to the camp-site and again a good team work to cook, eat and clean-up together.

We had a wonderful time .. Alhamdulillah

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