And while the view to north island was lovely, once we got to Queen Charlotte sounds, the view was magnificent.
Drove from Palmerston North to Feilding (no spelling mistake!) which has one New Zealand’s prettiest village 5 times out of the the last 10. At least the view around Feilding were stunning as we were less impressed with the village itself.
We then walked through the gardens to Wellington (downhill).
We then walked through the centre of Wellington and had a meal near Queens Warf.
We then drove back to our motel in Porirua.
First thing to do was to give the car a wash as we could hardly see out of the windows due to the dust.
We then drove to Napier on Hawke’s Bay which is the world’s largest Art Deco town.
The buildings in the centre were all rebuilt in the Art Deco style after a massive earthquake demolished the whole town.
Prue wanted to visit the Possum shop to buy some possum knitwear. There are 70 million possums in NZ which are considered a pest unlike in Australia where they are a protected species. In NZ the possums are doing a lot of damage to native animals, plants and birds.
Drove to Whakatane and went for a walk on the sea front :
Took Prue over 2.5 hours and the car was ABSOLUTELY filthy with a fine dust covering everywhere.
We then stayed the night in the only motel in Wairoa. Not the best of placed, lifted straight out of a ’60s soap opera (at least it was clean).
Switched on the TV and heard the devastating news of the earthquake in Christchurch.
Visited Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland in the morning.
We first saw the largest mud pools in the world.
which not only looked impressive they smelt impressive as well.
We then went on to see the Lady Knox geyser. We were told “she” erupts every day at 10:15 and were impressed with the timekeeping. Little did we know that they “start” her every day with a small bag of washing powder. Nevertheless rather spectacular and a spout of 30ft meant we all got wet.
We then had a look at all the other geysers, hot pools and mineral deposits.
We then drove on to the “Bay of Plenty” where we had a swim in the Pacific Ocean.
Went to see the Hamilton Gardens this morning and there happened to be a 2 week long activity going on.
We visited the Maori show which showed us the legend of how New Zealand was formed by a group of 4 people. Primarily aimed at the younger audience we still enjoyed it and I was give a part (albeit small).
The rest of the gardens were split into smaller parts from different parts of the world. We saw gardens from India, Italy, China and England for example.
and after watching an art exhibition we drove on to Rotorua.
We went to see Waimangu where they have the remnants of the the world`s youngest geothermal system in New Zealand.
The smell of rotten eggs being everywhere and mixed with the smell of sulphur, not all that pleasant.
We went back to Rotorua for the night and noticed that the smell of rotten eggs is still very prevalent in the city.
Had a hot tub before we went to bed.
In the morning went to “The Basin” in Whangarei where they had a load of touristy shops.
and then drove on further north to the “Bay of Islands“.
A wonderful place with lovely views. Took a ferry from Paihia to Russell where we had some drinks and icecreams (yes, life can be tough).
And before I forgot to mention it to all you back in Europe, the weather is sunny and 25deg C.
Someone’s got to do it….
We also had a lovely swim in the motel swimming pool. Decided to give the spa a miss.
Had fish (snapper) for dinner with creme brulee for Prue and hot chocolate for me afterwards.
All and all a pretty good day.