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After Rotoura I took a bus south to the Tongario National Park. This park consists of two massive volcanoes each rising 7000 feet into the sky. These, of course, are active volcanoes and a brief glance at the mountains will reveal hot gases seeping from their soil into the air.

Though before I jump into the park, I wanted to focus on an incident that took place on the bus to Tongario. To get to Tongario I had to switch to a connecting bus. The first bus was late and I only had a brief second to switch my items from one bus to the other. In the transition, I forgot to grab my fleece. I am now without a jacket and ironically I spent the last 2 nights outside. As a substitute I am now wearing my rain jacket and multiple tshirts. I think Ill start a crowd funding site to raise money for Bret to buy a jacket. Any donors?

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Sorry for the delay. Ive been all over Middle Earth the last few days. Anyway for my day in Rotorua, I went to Hobbiton. If you are a Lord of the Rings(LOTR) fan you have to go there. I don’t know if I can describe how awesome it was. In the morning, a huge big green bus picked us up with Hobbiton written on the side of it. After a hour ride and many LOTR facts later, we arrived. Before the tour began, they had us go to the gift store. If I wanted to I could have bought a replica of Gandalf’s hat for $500 or even an Elven cloak for $900. I decided not to purchase anything.

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Yesterday I woke up at 1130 am and immediately went straight to the computer to begin booking bus passes down south. My ultimate goal is to make it to Queenstown which is a small adventure town on the southern end of the Southern Island. I expect I will get there in 2 to 3 weeks.

After booking things, I hung out with the Germans, the Italian, and a Canadian girl. We played “asshole” using the Canadian rules which are completely different from the US rules.

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Yesterday I woke up around 7 am and spent most of the morning trying to plan out what I was going to do in the next week or so. Getting to Queenstown is more tough than I thought and there are a lot of different options. While on the computer I befriended this German sitting next to me. We ended up chatting and decided to go wander around the city together. After a brief visit to the Art Museum we came back to the hostel where we proceeded to befriend another group of Germans and an Italian.

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Before I even left LA I had my first mistake. Apparently you can’t buy a one way ticket to New Zealand. Supposedly their government doesn’t allow it. Fiji Airlines wouldn’t even let me check in unless I could prove to them that I had a ticket leaving New Zealand. No big deal I used my Priceline app and purchased a ticket from Auckland to Melbourne on April 8th at the ticket counter. After customs in New Zealand, I used the same app to cancel the flight free of charge. Problem solved!

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