NZ D1: Auckland, Pukekohe and Rotorua

Hightlight of the Day:
1. Enjoy popular local brand Tip Top ice-cream
2. Savour premium Angus beef sirloin steak for dinner
3. Unwind at Rotorua's mineral pool

This picture certainly bring back sweet memories we had in NZ.
After the long haul flight, we arrived Auckland International Airport on 19-3-2012, 11am. This is what I have in my note.

  • Collect Arrival Magazine @isite/Jason counter in the airport
  • Collect Jason maps
Since we had decided to go for the expensive helihike, we had to make sure that we collect the Arrival magazine which has many discount vouchers, one of it is the 10% helihike discount voucher.

Going through the immigration in the airport took longer than what we had estimated. So, I requested for an hour delay when we had to return the car 12 days later, and Apex stuff had no problem with it. Great start of the trip! :) By the time we set our gps destination and reached our first point, it was already 2pm. We were so hungry!

We stopped at Noodle Canteen located at the Great South Road for takeaway lunch, which was on our way to South. Noodle Canteen has opened many branches throughout New Zealand and they are serving made to order noodles and rice in a box. I did not know that there was a Chinese supermarket next to it where you could find a lot of ingredients or seasonings for Chinese cooking.

I was not buying anything, just to check out what is available and what is the price. :p

We had one hot box(NZ$9.90) for sharing since the portion was quite big and we had other plan as well. The menu says it is egg noodles with roast pork, chicken, beef and fresh vegetables in a Thai chilli sauce. I would say the taste was not bad and the meat was tender enough. Great choice when we were on the run and most important, the hot noodles warmed my stomach. The only little disappointment was they used disposable container instead of paper box as indicated in their website.

Then, we drove 45 minutes to Pukekohe, where we stopped for the famous Kiwi ice-cream, TipTop. You could find TipTop everywhere in New Zealand, but you would not be able to find more generous serving other than in Pukekohe. My initial plan to share a 2-scoop cone was rejected, so each of us had one 2-scoop. He had caremel truffel and pokey hokey while I had chocolate and butterscoth pecan.

the ice-cream shop

Tip Top was delicious until we met Kapiti.

Look at it! The serving for 2-scoop was so big.

My goodness, tell me who would buy and finish the 11-scoop ice cream.

Pukekeho was a famous pit stop for ice-cream and bacon. So we were not leaving Pukekeho before buying some middle bacon and pork sausage from the bacon shop next to this ice-cream shop.

paying for the bacon and sausage, NZ$6.80

Then it was a 3 hours plus road trip to Rotorua. We managed to reach Malfroy Lodge slightly before 6pm. As Rotorua is known as the thermal wonderland in New Zealand, the whole city was full of sulfur smell. We drove to town, took a stroll and captured some pictures.

beautiful isite building in Rotorua

The world famous Polynesian Spa, do you notice the full moon in the picture?
Rotorua Museum

Back to our studio, we cooked simple but delicious dinner, Angus beef sirloin steak as main dish. Then at night, we re-energised ourselves at the lodge's mineral pool, accompanied by the full moon(coincidently moon was largest on 19th March as it was nearest to the earth).
We were so sleepy after dipping in the pool. Good night Rotorua!

sunset at Rotorua

Noodle Canteen
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Pukekohe Ice-Cream and Bacon
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