Dror the Explorer decided to take Yesh on a tour through New Zealand and writes for us on the road between Tauranga to Whanganui. Here’s what he found out about David’s farm in Whanganui and his memories from the time before the COVID 19 Pandemic when he hiked the Tongariro.
This is another chapter in my journeys as a traveler. Unfortunately, I might have to go back to Israel in August, so I decided to go and travel for a month before the south island of New Zealand gets too cold. Here is the first chapter on the trip of an Israeli traveler in New Zealand.
I didn’t contact hosts yet because I didn’t really know if they would be available and when will I get to them. Nevertheless, I took that calculated risk and decided to talk to the hosts as I go. Get ready; I might call you soon. I decided to do another thing; have good winter equipment towards the winter. My two inner layers were well established for heat, so I bought a raincoat and rainpants in order to keep myself dry. I’m well prepared for the New Zealand winter.
Stepping Stones Lodge in Tauranga
Yesterday, I left from the Stepping Stones Lodge, managed by Tania and Clinton, in Tauranga. That lodge offered accommodations for Israelis for free during the COVID 19 pandemic. I decided to visit them and stay there for the weekend with Israeli travelers and we had so much fun.
We’ve done various activities. We found out that a lot of the travelers enjoy Harry Potter books, so we decided to find out who knows more about the JK Rollings universe. We managed to have a 3 stage game; questions, Jeopardy, and then a fierce one on one in which a traveler named Sivan won. The reward was ambiguous, and we decided to just the title of the best Harry Potter fan of the house was enough.
Most of the Israelis know how to play volleyball. If you’ve even been to Israeli beaches, you would find a lot of volleyball sand counts, especially in Tel Aviv. We played several games of volleyball on Saturday and had a lot of fun.
The one thing that united Israelis together is the Shabbat Dinner. We had Shabbat dinner on Friday night and sung Shabbat songs as everyone was ready for the final Shabbat dinner before leaving Tania’s home for other adventures.
The travelers thanked Tania and Clinton for hosting them for the entire time and gave them a gift; a basket and a toy for their dog. The travelers and I cleaned the entire lodge for the next travelers and saved Tania and Clinton the hard work.
Back on the Road – Going to Whanganui
Tania gave me her blessing, and I started my 5 hours drive to Whanganui. I passed by the Tongariro, which reminded me of my Tongariro Alpine Crossing. The mountain has some snow on it, but it’s a very nice (and cold) hike. I stopped there to put some petrol and have some fish and chips for lunch, and I encountered a really cold wind. I wasn’t really expecting that, but then I remembered that it’s almost winter in New Zealand.
I met David, and he told me that the travelers that he hosted were just amazing too. Unfortunately, they all just left to hike the Taranaki and the Tongariro, and I came to an empty house. Right around 7 PM, an Israeli traveler named Ben came, and we spend the night playing a video game named “Journey”, as we fell asleep in the lounge room.