Hostels usually have an early check out time, this hostel it is 10am, you have to take the pillow cover and room key to reception to get your key deposit, I took the cover off my pillow and, well lets say insects would not use that pillow! The joys of hostelling!
We left the hostel and popped to the library to check last minute emails, Sangeet also enjoys the library coffee shop’s soy hot chocolate!
Afterwards with heavy rucksacks we walked to the car rental location, the walk was through Albert park, which is near the University of Auckland. This location was a complete opposite to Queen Street which was just hustle and bustle. It actually felt good having a 30 minute walk with our rucksacks fully loaded, really felt we were one of the backpackers! Saw some interesting buildings on the way.
As soon as we got to the car rental place,the process to pick up the car was straight forward. Papers were signed and we were shown our car, ‘El Cheapo’ it was even written on the rear window!!
As soon as I got over how small the car was (I am used to big sized engines, makes a change us having a 1.3L car!!!) we headed to a health food shop to stock up on a few supplies. The shop was called ‘Harvest Wholefoods’ and had a good selection, the bill came to $121.59!!!!! Things here in New Zealand have become expensive!
405 Richmond Road
T: 09 376 3107
F: 09 360 1616
After getting over the shock we headed south on southern motorway 1 towards Rotorua, you take 1 to Hamilton then 5 to Rotorua. You drive on the left, same as UK, for some reason I could not get used to it! Think I still miss the States.
We passed through three Gurdwaras on the way, Otahuhu, Takanini and Hamilton and enjoyed delicious lungar at each one!
Indians started arriving in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, most immigrants arrived from Punjab, and Gujarat. Most Indians settled in Auckland, Wellington, or Christchurch. Indians are often stereotyped as owning convenience stores known as ‘Dairy’s in New Zealand. Also there are a large number of Indian Restaurants in New Zealand.
With the Sikh community in New Zealand increasing The New Zealand Sikh Society was developed in 1964, and the first New Zealand Sikh Gurdwara was built in Hamilton in 1977 and another in 1986 in Otahuhu. With the increasing number of Sikhs in New Zealand an increasing number of Gurudwaras are being built.
The number of Indians are increasing rapidly in New Zealand as seen in the 2006 census compared with the 2001 census, over the five years there was a 68.2% increase in the number of Indians in New Zealand.
In the 2006 census there were 9507 Sikhs in New Zealand.
Gurdwara Guru Nanak Dev Ji Sikh Sangat Otahuhu
Name: Sri Guru Nanak Dev Sikh Sangat Gurudwara Sahib Ji
Address: 120 Princess Street, Otahuhu, Auckland.
Postal Adress: PO Box 22579 Otahuhu Auckland.
Telephone: +64 9 276 9043
Fax: +64 9 276 9236
The first Gurdwara in New Zealand
Address: 6391 State Highway 1, Te Rapa, Hamilton
Postal Adress: PO Box 9464 Hamilton
Contact Telephone: +64 7 849 4952
Status: NZ Sikh Society, Hamilton Branch
We had lungar at the Hamilton Gurdwara, afterwards we got talking to a lady Rajvir who said they are holding the Akhand Paath. We explained that we are on the way to Rotorua to see our Puaji, she asked what is their name we said their sons name is Dr Karandeep Singh Lall, she said “you serious?! they are very good friends of ours!” – what a small world. She asked us to come on Sunday also to bring Puaji. It seems like the further south we go the friendlier the people are.
Once we said our byes we headed south on 1 then took 5 to Rotorua. It takes about 1.5 hours from Hamilton to Rotorua and the maximum speed is 100kmph.
We arrived in Rotorua around 7 pm and got to paji’s (paji = brother) at 7:30pm, last time we came in 2005 and got lost, we arrived at the house 4 hours late!!
When Puaji opened the door it was great to see her. We totally forgot what a beautiful house they have, also the garden now has a hockey pitch and a small park! We enjoyed a nice meal together, chatted and watched a Indian comedy before a good nights sleep.