Parents and siblings

My youngest brother Tim, who went to New Zealand for one year of highschool, and my parents showed up for new year’s eve. Tim’s original idea was spending the day in Sydney to watch the fireworks over the harbor. Due to different reasons this didn’t work out. Maybe it was better this way, because I heard that you need to spend the whole day to secure a good spot at the harbor. This may be doable under normal conditions but probably not after a 30 hour flight.

Viewing the city from above
Viewing the city from above – on top of the Sky Tower on New Year’s Day

Instead we climbed Mount Eden along with hundreds of others to have a good overview of the city. At midnight there were fireworks from the Sky Tower which were small but quite nice. The private fireworks were really small and stayed below the height of the surrounding houses and definitely not as much as in Germany. It was also very quiet, despite the number of people, because drinking in public is not allowed.

Watching the fireworks from Mount Eden
Watching the fireworks from Mount Eden

After having a look at Auckland the next day we headed south, where we met up with Tim’s hostfamily from 2008/09. They are very nice and we’ll meet them again when we get back to the north island.

Two of New Zealand's "Three Sisters"
Two of New Zealand’s “Three Sisters”

On our way to New Plymouth we had a look at the Three Sisters. This time they are part of a rugged coastline just a few kilometers north of the city and not as touristy as the ones in the Blue Mountains. Also, only two sisters are remaining since one of them collapsed a few years ago.

Majestic Mount Taranaki towers above the clouds
Majestic Mount Taranaki towers above the clouds

If the weather is good you’ll get a glimpse of the picturesque Mount Taranaki close to New Plymouth. During our half day hike in wind and rain at the north face of Mount Taranaki we did not see anything above us. Later that day we got to see it from a distant.