Been a while since i posted anything, but thought it was about time i did. A lovely day spent at Lydford Gorge and Brentnor Church and finally onto Dartmoor to see the ponies. A very nice day spent with old friends from Essex.
My journey through New Zealand really begins after picking up the hired car, off we set for Rotorua, stopping on the way to the Waitomo glo worm caves fascinating and very beautiful, especially the gondola boat ride through the caves where it is completely dark and silent and to see the thousands of glow worms shining brightly up above, no photography was allowed of any sort as not to disturb the fragile glow worms.
We then headed for our destination for the next two nights Rotorua arriving around 5pm to the beautiful lake view hotel. You could do almost anything on the lake, we plumped so a sedate pedalo (not very adventurous i know) but seeing the lake from a different perspective was really good. Walking along the lake front were at least 20 to 30 seagulls waiting to pounce on their next victim and i actually got dive bombed by a couple so i made a hasty retreat!! Well that was the exercise for the day!! Found a lovely little cafe bar and sat out for a well deserved S/Blanc (cloudy bay) whilst writing my journal. But we began to notice a strange smell emanating all around, rotten eggs, then the penny dropped ah! we were in the Thermal Wonderland of Rotorua!!
One of the many black swans on the lake.
This is a recreated Maori boat. The carvings on it are so intricate.
Can you imagine seeing this in the water, Amazing
Our trip for the next day was to the, Waiotapo Thermal wonderland. We spent so much more time here than planned, but you just could not go for an hour, we did the whole walk in the end ended up staying nearly three hours. Breathtaking scenes of our earths core and the bubbling noises of the earth moving with billowing smoke coming up every so often giving of that lovely rotten egg smell !!!
A Pied Stilt picking little things from the ground, how it survives in this place i don't know because the ground is hot in some places!
One of the many different coloured lakes that have formed in the area and it was really that colour
Different rock formations that have formed over thousands of years.
This was known as the Frying pan and Oyster pool, quite stunning.
Giving a swirling feature to the lake.
There is that smell again!!!
The steam was overpowering as i stood here , you had to just step back!
The edge of the Champagne pool
The Devils Home, aptly named i think.
One reason for going was the Geyser that erupts at preciously 10.15.am every morning, hopefully that will continue,
if not there maybe something going wrong around the region!
The evening trip was to the Tamaki Maori village. Where an evenings entertainment awaited us.
All dressed in their native costumes, telling stories through music and dance.
This chap was amazing, his eyes were so wide and
as for his tongue WELL !!!!!! No photo i'm afraid but will
leave it to your imagination!!!
The entrance to the village where our chosen chief from our coach
was welcomed, we had been given written information beforehand
about what to expect and not what to do! Never laugh, imitate or smile
whilst the dance is being performed as it would be very disrespectful to
the Maori chief of the village. It was such a shame because the heavens opened
at this point, thunder and lightening too, so the dance was cut very short.
We were all then welcomed to the village where a Hangi feast had been set for us, traditional
meats that had been slow cooked in a oven in the ground covered by volcanic rocks
and cooked for 7 hours, never tasted lamb, pork or chicken like it, delicious.
You can see just how wet the ground was!
The grounds of the village.
As i said the journey really began here, the scenery gets more dramatic as we go further around but this was certainly a good opener. Miles and miles of green pastures hills, mountains are to come.
The next part of the holiday begins. I wrote a journal whilst away, i shan't bore you with loads but will drop a few snippets in along the way. "Leaving San fransisco with my last views of the financial district and the Bay Bridge. Sad to leave the place i adore, but looking forward so much to the adventure ahead" "Airports much the same the world over boring and tiring. Saturday 23rd Jan whole day lost in transit due to crossing the international date line"
A free room upgrade was given and this was the view!! View of Auckland harbour and bridge
Auckland known as the city of sails, you can see why with all those boats in the harbour. Fact 1 in 5 own a boat and 1 in 3 have the use of some sort of vessel. City of Sails strikes again! How many ?
Took a harbour cruise this was a suspended
swimming pool at the Hilton hotel
View taken on the boat trip. The Sky Tower
dominating the skyline. It is 328 metres high
and the tallest man made structure in N/Z
It was the weekend so many people were out
on the water. Love the angle of the yacht.
Another view from the boat, love the building with the ring
on top of it.
The sky looks very overcast and it began to drizzle,
but i still managed to get sun burnt on my nose, chemist
next stop sun factor 70!!! very deceptive weather, no wonder
the lady on the boat said" free tea and coffee and sun cream"
did not think i needed it, how stupid.
A different view of the Sky Tower at night.
Sky City has many bars, resaurants and a casino.
What a view eh? Loved it!
Tony on the other hand would not step on it, chicken!!!
Stunning view of Auckland from the tower.
Taken at dusk where the lights of the city were
just coming alive.
Sunlight on the city a welcome sight after the grey
overcast afternoon that we had.
Just had to be done, sitting people watching with
a glass of S/blanc and after a long wait a mango
brulee with a difference, delicious a piece of art on
a plate! The wait was well worth it.
Auckland a very clean and relaxed city, harbour based activities being the main attractions, great place to chill out after a long flight. There is much more to the city but only having a couple of days you can only do so much. But a most enjoyable stopover with lovely friendly people wherever we went.