New Zealand – North Island, Feb/March 2019

We enjoyed a two and a half week break in New Zealand’s North Island, which included a fun-filled and sun-soaked five and a half days spent holidaying with seven other couples in our friends’ bach (holiday fishing lodge) near Rotorua. We went for walks, took part in a very competitive croquet competition, golfed, lunched, went on excursions and walks and ate, drank and were merry.

Other highlights of the holiday for us were the Bay of Islands, Hamilton Gardens and nearby Hobbiton, Mt Taranaki, Napier and the Coromandel Peninsula. Of course we enjoyed the travelling between towns too – there is always beautiful scenery to admire wherever you are. One day we’ll spend a bit of time in Auckland, but we always seem to head straight out of the city to the verdant countryside.

photo Photos

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Whangarei Falls north of Auckland. 22/2/19 Interior decorations in the meeting house at Waitangi. 23/2/19 The Stone Store at Kerikeri, one of the oldest European missions in New Zealand. 24/2/19 Magnificent kauri in the Puketi Forest. 24/2/19 A grove of kauris. 24/2/19 And now to Hamilton Gardens, south of Auckland. An amazing collection of themed gardens, developed over the last 50 years or so. This is the Italian Renaissance Garden. 25/2/19 The Indian 'Char Bagh' or 'enclosed four part' garden at Hamilton Gardens, a riot of colour. 25/2/19 Indian Garden, Hamilton Gardens, 25/2/19. Storehouse in the Maori garden, Hamilton Gardens, 26/2/19 Concept garden at Hamilton Gardens. Inscription on the crumbling  reddish column reads "Whatungarongaro te tangata toituu te whenua" - "  As man disappears from sight, the land remains." And a spectacular conservatory to finish off our tour. 26/2/19. And then to Hobbiton! The movie set for the Hobbit films,now a tourist destination and beautifully maintained. All trees are real except for the oak on the hilltop above Bag End, Bilbo's home. 26/2/19. Hobbit holes came in various sizes, depending on their role in the film. Some were small, others larger so that human size actors looked like hobbits next to them. The exteriors only were filmed here. 26/2/19 Great attention to detail, even to the washing on the line. 26/2/19 Lovely gardens  gave it a rural feel. 26/2/19 The interior of the Green Dragon, where we were offered a pint. 26/2/19. The Green Dragon, thankfully human-size. 26/2/19. Mt Taranaki, 2500m, a dormant volcano. We were lucky it poked out of the clouds for our visit! 27/2/19 Quite a climb to the summit, considered quite difficult. We did a loop walk to a viewpoint on the way up. 27/2/19. View to the north from Mt Taranaki. 27/2/19 Beautiful rainforest on the mountain slopes. 27/2/19 Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and many of its buildings were replaced within a few years, all in Art Deco style. The Daily Telegraph building was built in 1932. 1/3/19 The Museum and Art Gallery  now has a modern entrance facing the ocean, but this is the old entrance in Art Deco style. Built in 1936-7.1/3/19 Probably the most spectacular example of art deco, in the port of Ahuriri at Napier. 1/3/19 Lovely rose garden just near our lodgings. 1/3/19 Te Ana Falls a short distance from Napier. 1/3/19 Beach north of Napier. 1/3/19 Sunday 3/3/19. Tranquil morning by Lake Rotoehu, location of the fishing baches where we stayed with friends for six days. Two of the baches where we stayed. 3/3/19 A glorious sunset. 4/3/19 Lake Tarawera, and the volcano Mount Tarawera, which erupted destructively in 1886. 5/3/19 Lovely fern on walk to Te Wairoa waterfall. 5/3/19 Waterfall at the Buried Village. 5/3/19 More of the same waterfall - lovely! 5/3/19 Redwood forest in Rotorua, planted about 100 years ago. The lady on the rock and Whale Island ( Moutohora) at Whakatane. 7/3/19 Empty shells at Ohope Beach near Whakatane. Walk to Cathedral Cove from Hahei on the Coromandel Peninsula. 8/3/19 Cathedral Cove. 8/3/19 ...and looking back at the arch. 8/3/19 Lovely coastline. 8/3/19 But a bit rainy! 8/3/19 Beautiful afternoon light at Oamaru Bay, on our last evening before returning to Auckland. 8/3/19

Posted on March 26th, 2019, tagged with travel

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