Published: March 15th 2009February 27th 2009
When we first arrived in Auckland back in December we caught a glimpse of an advertisement for a Maori festival. So here we are. The Kapa Haka is a celebration of the Maori language, music and dance. It is also a big competition! The 4 day festival was absolutely amazing. The photos and videos can not capture the atmosphere we felt in that stadium. The teams were all dresses in different traditional costumes as they sung choral pieces that ranged from traditional to modern. Each team performed 5 or 6 pieces over 30 minutes. The crowd returned performances by honoring their teams with the Haka before or after each performance. Truly an amazing 4 days.
From the festival and a chance meeting with the Prime Minister of NZ we explored Motueka and Kiwi Country. Met up with friends we made on Christmas Day at Mt Manganui (more of a hill than a mountain) with its beautiful stretch of sand. From the Mount we headed back north to one of our favorites, Waihi Beach (for another car camp). After a night in the car, a morning walk on the beach and another chance to witness the seagull lady we headed for
Paeroa to take a picture with the original L&P bottle which was covered up --gutted. We had to settle for the modern replica before making our way to the base of the Coromandel once again and Thames. The first time we were through this town we weren't that impressed. This time we checked into a hostel complete with the cutest hostel dog, Nina who we proceeded to walk through the local park.
Heading further north and west of Auckland we went to the Waitakere Regional Park to explore the black sand beaches. As some of the most dangerous beaches in NZ we settled for paddling our feet in the waves before our last car camp in NZ!
Setting out for Auckland we met up with friends from the UK, Amy and Phil, who had us to stay in their apartment with the most beautiful view in the city! We had a walk around the local beaches and up through the old gun turrets. The boys took their chances with the old war tunnels only to get temporarily locked inside! Thanks so much for having us! Great to see you both!
One final night in a rickety old
caravan just up the coast filled with a slight smell of sulphur water and a terrible storm before flying out to Fiji.
There are more photos below