Meet Olly & Theresa (pictured left) who took Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure in New Zealand. Sure sounds like they had an amazing time. You can check out more photos from their adventures here on our facebook page. Jealous? Then apply to take Coco away on an adventure yourself. She is FREE! Check out www.jucy4free.co.nz to apply! Love Lucy xx
It’s Waitangi Day and our first day with CoCo the Social Cabana. After leaving the home comforts of Fox Glacier where we had spent a very wet but beautiful three months working, it was time for the “holiday” part of our working holiday. We met a very jolly Espen at JUCY Rentals – Auckland. After we were introduced to CoCo and shown all of her mod cons, he pointed us in the direction of a beach in Auckland’s North Shore. And so our adventures in CoCo began.
After having our beach fill for the day, we took CoCo back into the city. After a quick shower at the JUCY Hotel in Emily Place, it was time for a feed and to find a suitable spot to decorate with birthday banners, balloons and other birthday related goodies, as we were meeting our friend who was having a birthday.
We then followed our noses… literally… being led by the smell of homemade chips… to the Spitting Feathers English pub, where we held the birthday party. The rest of the night’s shenanigans are a little hazy involving a vague memory of shots on the bar, and suggestions from various bar staff that you absolutely HAD to get naked to celebrate your birthday, pretty sure that did not happen, but that’s based solely on my blurred recollections, so who knows? At the end of the night three of us headed back to Coco for a centrally located kip. Coco easily accommodated the four of us – myself (T), Olly and our mates Jody and Lucy.
Our first stop outside of Auckland was the beautiful Corramandel. We headed to Long Bay for a well-deserved “post-drive dip” in the sea. At dusk we headed to a lookout to watch a sunset above the Corromandel Harbour, without doubt the best NZ sunset I have been lucky enough to see. We enjoyed a bottle of champagne, Lucy’s company, and celebrated our first night on the road. We then made post-dusk tracks to The Corromandel camping ground where Olly’s bartering skills got us a good late night bargain, and use of all on site amenities, for a bargain $5 each.
We woke up feeling a hell of a lot better than we did the previous morning, and had both toilets and taps on Coco, bonus! We decided to head for Whitianga, for “fush and Chups” at Snapper Jacks, “the best fish in chips, eaten in New Zealand to date” (said Olly), and had a look around the cute town. After that it was time for some Hot Water Beach action, where we enjoyed a dig and a dip. We decided Broken Hills campsite sounded a suitably scary spot to spend the night, located in the Corromandel Forest Park. We stopped to stock the fridge full of supplies and other bits and bobs. We arrived at the beautiful, secluded camp ground and parked next to the river. We spent our evening eating a delicious Pork dinner, watching The Full Monty in bed and Olly Skinny dipped in the river… Motivated by the film, perhaps?!… Shame it was so cold… bless!
Day Four in Coco and after a lazy morning making breakfast, we decided to head to the Land of L’n’P (Paeroa). How could we resist when it is “world famous” in New Zealand? On route we were drawn to a garage sale were Olly invested in a very dapper waist coat and I got talking to the lady about her latest heart attack and writing down her recommendations to go and live in a Buddhist retreat with her daughter. We shall see about that one. For now though: Destination Paeroa.
When we arrived in the land of the tall L’n’P we quickly realized it was host to the annual Scottish Highland Games and Tattoo. Held right in the centre of town, the whole place was buzzing with a festival vibe and every corner was filled with haggis, and Scottish tartan. It was extremely surreal being at the most uniquely, quaint kiwi town, surrounded by big burly Scottish men in Kilts throwing wood around. So we decided to embrace it and erm… did a highland fling, which resulted in free entry! (The last sentence was a variation on the truth, take it as you will!)
After our fill of L’n’P and scottishness, we made our way to a beach camp in Matata. We stayed at a DOC Campsite looking out over the Bay of Plenty. We paid $6 each and slept on the sand, under the stars, listening to the sound of crashing waves.
Today was the best day EVER! We had to get out of the campground by 10.00am, so at 9.59am (getting our $6’s worth) we made tracks to Rotorua. It was a beautiful drive, and we were excited to see the famously smelly Rotorua. Once we arrived we randomly stumbled across a market, whilst having a look around we completely randomly bumped into an old Queenstown friend who was working on a stall there. After a slightly smelly catch up with our mate, (smelly water… not our mate) we sniffed out some more smelly Smokey water in Kuirau park. Thanks to Rotorua’s sulphur-asthmatic airs we were able to ‘let one rip’ right, left and center, and no-one bats an eyelid. Bliss. T note: It’s Olly writing this, by the way. NOT T. Next it was time to realize a dream… and ZORB!
It was THE best way to get down a hill (after snowboarding).EVER. I don’t know how, or who they thought we were, but the extremely amazing crew at ZORB sorted us out with 3 free rides each, the “Double Trouble”, “Zig -Zag” and “The Drop” . Lucy took photos as we rolled in every direction, in water, inside what seemed like a big beach ball being thrown directly down a hill! I felt like a sock on a spin cycle, literally hair-raising. At one point I could not see where I was and panicked at the thought I had left the safe confines of the track and would spend the rest of the day encased in an inflatable ball rolling solo around the North Island. Luckily this wasn’t the case and we just had a spectacular time! Thank you ZORBING Crew at Agroventures.
Day six, and our last morning waking up in CoCo. BOO HOO! After a fine bacon and egg butty we headed to Huka falls and followed the road South to the spectacular Tongariro National Park. The drive was spectacular and we caught a short but amazing view of the volcanic peaks (one which has been erupting since August the 6th). We enjoyed a couple of short walks, enjoying the last of our JUCY time and then it was time to head back to Auckland to wish bon voyage to CoCo and Lucy, and reunite them with the JUCY team and end our incredible JUCY journey. Thank you JUCY we have had the best week ever and without your generosity and the kindness of strangers it would not have been possible.
Much Love and until next time, T and Olly xxx