Hello! Long time no chat! We have finally made it to our last destination on the North Island before we ferry to the south!
We spent a solid week (ish?) in the Mt. Taranaki (also known as Egmont, but let’s be real. Taranaki is way cooler. .) region enjoying the views of the volcano from towns/campsites nearby! We got to do a couple of hikes on Taranaki which were gorgeous! One of them was just 2 hours round trip but we got to wander through the forest surrounding the volcano which is known as the goblin forest. I think it’s called that because it looks like only goblins could get through it without a path made out for them. So thick and lush. The next hike we did was 4 hours (felt like a lifetime) with great views, and a ridiculous amount of stairs. Like, why are there so many stairs. Whyyy. (Probs cause of the volcano we decided to hike on) Anyway, we made it probably 2/3 up the volcano (according to a ranger, it “wasn’t safe to go further” cause of ice or whatever. . .) and got some great views of the peak and the surrounding forest/towns!
After that big hike, we went to find some cold showers (and they lived up to their name) so that we could get presentable and meet up with a friend to go to the Festival of Lights and Christmas in the Bowl (literally a grass bowl full of people cereal) that was being put on in New Plymouth about 20 minutes from Taranaki. It was fun to sit in a big crowd and listen to/sing along with Christmas songs and get a little feel of the Christmas that we are used to. At the end, everyone lit candles and it was very calming and beautiful to see them all around us! When that was over the park had different light displays all throughout (it was a biiiiiggg park) that people could walk through, and with it being chilly and dark, it definitely added to the Christmas-y spirit we’ve been trying to reach! From there we headed East of Taranaki to a black sand beach campsite and enjoyed sitting on the beach and looking at the stars! From here we are going to make our way down to Wellington (maybe a stop or two on the way) where we will house sit and take care of a cute fluff ball! (Not Seth, the cat. Sorry if you were confused.)