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Monday, 16 January 2017

It's Monday :Travelling by Water

I haven't done much blog reading while I have been away but I did pop over to see what Sian was up to and discovered that Mondays are changing slightly and it's all about the mail we are receiving in our post boxes.
Well you don't really receive mail while you are on holiday which is a shame because I am fascinated by all the mail boxes especially those decorated or those surrounded by agapanthus. I am going to have get the farmer to stop so I can snap some of them!
Actually though I have had some mail. Daughter has mailed be photos of important bills and documents! Then this week I am expecting some real mail. Yes I have ordered a replacement photo reader for my IPad and Apple are posting it to one of our stopovers! Yippee! So watch this space for better photos! In the meantime here are some from my phone again.
Our first sight of South Island was from the ferry transporting us from Wellington to Picton. This journey was as picturesque as we had been told it would be and it was well worth staying on deck.

Starting on our road journey again we were immediately transported through beautiful scenery as we made our way to Marahau on the very edge of the Abel Tasman National Park. Our accommodation here was all it promised to be with views across the bay.

The following day we explored the National Park by the ideal transport.... water taxi. On the way out we were taken to see sights such as Split Apple Rock.

We were then dropped at Onetahuti to walk to the next beach Awaroa for lunch and some relaxation time.

We enjoyed a fabulous walk.

Lunch was good too! Our biggest mishap was not being sure which end of the km long beach our return taxi was landing and a bad dash to the other end when we realised we had it wrong!
We fascinating by their technique for launching the boats and collecting them at the end of the day. We were transported in the boats by tractor and trailer and removed from the sea in a similar way.

We were not sure that British bureaucracy would allow road trips quite like that.

A fleet of tractors awaited us!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

High Up

Our two nights at Lake Taupo were spent on the far side of the lake from Taupo at Turangi which is mainly known for its fishing. We stayed in a very comfortable fishing retreat close to the River Tongariro with yet another relaxing view from our room.

Our second day gave us a chance to explore some of the ever changing landscape of the Tongariro National Park. This included a drive up into the village of Whakapapa and on up onto the slopes of Mount Ruapehu.

Yes you may have spotted that we cheated slightly by travelling up on the cable car. This was an experience in it self but I had the feeling the operators were quite used to dummies like us.

We did wander up and walk on the snow. Throwing a bit of snow kept us in touch with our friends back home!

The volcanic landscape is spectacular and gave us a little bit of a feeling of the terrain Kate had encountered when she walked the Tongariro Crossing.

What else do you do at a ski resort but enjoy a hot chocolate in the sunshine? Oh I guess ski but with no snow....

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Largest Lake

My photos are still limited without my little device and things have been quite busy to keep up with my posts. I'm not very good at getting my iPhone out to take pictures as well as my camera.
 We spent two nights in the vicinity of Lake Taupo, a beautiful part of the country. Lake Taupo is the size of Singapore so absolutely vast to explore. We chose to take a sailing boat cruise on the lake which is a lovely way to drift along.

Excuse the gentleman's leg in this one!

I hope it gives you a feel of the day. We saw the Maori stone carvings but you will have to wait to see those photos. Sadly it was too choppy for a dip although I am not sure I would have been brave enough to jump in! I can assure you there wouldn't have been any photos of that anyway! We did however enjoy a glass of wine on the return journey!

Friday, 13 January 2017

Water Everywhere

I am afraid that my posts are going to be a little limited having lost my little device to load my photos from my camera to my iPad. Oh blow! I am now limited to the few that I have taken on my phone.
On Wednesday we visited Huka Falls which has subsequently been on the news here tonight.
These incredible Rapids pass through a natural narrow channel on the River Waikato River.

Every second 220,000 litres of water pass through.

They were on the news today as someone had ridden through them on a board, a truly dangerous stunt.
We then drove up stream to find a more peaceful stop for a picnic lunch.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Hot and Steamy

Another great aspect of our holiday in New Zealand has been catching up with friends and relatives. We started our holiday by staying with my aunt and uncle who we will also see at the end. We have also had the chance to visit two of my nursing friends who have been kind enough to give us very hospitable accommodation.
My friend Iris took us to Rotorua for the day where we visited Te Puia geothermal valley.

This is the home of Pohutu Geyser which is the largest active geyser in the Southern Hemisphere.

It erupts several times an hour so is a reliable one to see.

To it's side is the Plume of Feathers that usually  precedes it.

The park has a variety of geothermal wonders to see including bubbling mud

And hot pools.

There was the opportunity to try out the hot seat.

Food is traditionally cooked in hot steam boxes. Sadly we did not get to taste it.

There was also a Maori village portraying examples of Maori houses.

What I haven't mentioned is of course the odour. The whole area smells of sulphur from the hot springs. Not the best of smells!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Hahei to Cathedral Cove

During our one night stay in Hahei we spent the morning exploring the coastline. We walked down to Hahei beach fairly early so it was still quiet and we were able to take in the scenery.

We made our way to the end of the beach to start our walk to Cathedral Cove. The beginning of the path was surrounded by agapanthus, a common sight in New Zealand.

The path climbed up onto the headland but the views made it all worthwhile.

The undulating way continued through native bush.

Then eventually dropped down into the cove.

This spectacular location was used in the Chronicles of Narnia film.

The cliffs are ignimbrite consisting of pumice and ash from eruptions 8 million years ago.

It is soft and consequently erosion has created a series of stacks  and arches.

There were a group in kayaks who had paddled round. This was the form of transport our daughter used during her stay.

Our method of return was quicker than both the kayaks or the walk there. We opted for the water taxi.

Our excuse being that a view of the coast from the sea would complete the trip.

Should you be planning a New Zealand trip don't forget to put this on your itinerary.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Digging for Hot Water

The second half of the journey to the peaceful resort of Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula was picturesque as climbed up, round and down through the Coromandel Forest Park.

We had struck lucky again with our accommodation ath Hahei Chapell. The chalets set in the gardens of this former Methodist Chapel were tranquil and comfortable.

The tide dictated that we should rush straight out with spade and towel in hand.

Our evening destination was Hot Water Beach.

This remarkable beach has hot springs in the sand which can only be accessed and hour before and after low tide in one specific patch on the beach. People were already gathering to dig and wallow.

Brian set to work with the spade.

We were soon rewarded with a pool that was almost too hot to sit in.

Such an extraordinary phenomenon is well worth a visit on what is also a beautiful beach.