Page 9 of Brian and Amy Travel Blog Posts


Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 15th 2007

We decided to hang around the house and the town instead of taking a bus to the North to see the Waitomo Glow Worm Caves. It was a 2.5 hour drive, an hour tour and a 2.5 hour trip back. Everyone raves about it but we just didn’t think the little buggers were worth it. We really like our hosts and our Lakeside Lodge and there’s so much to see and do here. The day started with a little more fishing. Saw that same trout but no luck. After a hearty breakfast, we drove to the Wai-o-Tapu Geothermal Area to see the Lady Knox Geyser blow. They put soap in the geyser so it goes off exactly at 10:15. (Soap…really!) We also hiked past craters, hissing mud pools, silica terraces, waterfalls and green pools. There was ... read more
Amy and the geyser
Champagne Pool
Green Pool

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 15th 2007

We spent the day tooling around the area. In the morning we went to the “Agrodome” Sheep Show. They trotted out all the different kinds of sheep, sheared a sheep for us and did a sheep dog demonstration. The shearer was very entertaining, getting all of the nationalities in the audience involved. There weren’t many of us from the USA but we cheered as loud as we could. You should have heard those Australians shouting, “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oy, Oy, Oy!” and the Taiwanese screaming with their hands in the air. The sight of the sheepdogs running on the backs of the sheep and then laying on top of them was worth the price of admission. We took too many pictures so we missed the dog herding the sheep - it must have been very short. ... read more
Brian and a dog
Amy and a sheep
Not a real dog

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 12th 2007

Today was spent on a volcanic crater on an offshore island. The day started out very “dodgy”. We left for the bus with plenty of time to spare…until. We forgot the camera, so we screamed back to the inn. “Oh wait, Brian had it the whole time!” Brian and Amy tear off to make the bus but are now late. In his hurry, Brian backs the car into a bench, and forgets he’s in New Zealand and drives into oncoming traffic with Amy saying “Go Left, Go Left!” We just made it and we scramble onto the bus like typical crazy Americans. After a few deep cleansing breaths on the bus ride, we arrive at our port and the boat is beautiful. After an hour boat ride, we offload onto the volcanic island. The pictures say ... read more
Amy and the Guide
Amy and Brian in the "gear"

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 12th 2007

Today was primarily driving to Rotorua to the south. We made a brief stop in “Hobbiton” (also known as Matamata) for a photo op and a quick bite. We then buzzed through Tirau, the home of the big sheep and sheepdog (see pictures). We tried “hokeypokey” ice cream - a New Zealand favorite. Don’t know what’s in it but we like it! We arrived at our B&B (Ngongotaha Lakeside Lodge) in the late afternoon and the owners are very nice and quite helpful. The view of the lake is fantastic and our host is going to take us fishing one day. After a quick spin around the town and some great Thai food, we found our way back and prepared for our big day tomorrow. That’s all for now, stay tuned.... read more
Amy at Hobbiton
Tirau
Tirau

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Rotorua November 12th 2007

Today was primarily driving to Rotorua to the south. No pics. We made a brief stop in “Hobbiton” (also known as Matamata) for a photo op and a quick bite. We then buzzed through Tirau, the home of the big sheep and sheepdog (see pictures). We tried “hokeypokey” ice cream - a New Zealand favorite. Don’t know what’s in it but we like it! We arrived at our B&B (Ngongotaha Lakeside Lodge) in the late afternoon and the owners are very nice and quite helpful. The view of the lake is fantastic and our host is going to take us fishing one day. After a quick spin around the town and some great Thai food, we found our way back and prepared for our big day tomorrow. That’s all for now, stay tuned.... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Waihi November 12th 2007

Another perfect day in paradise. After a lazy morning with breakfast in the little garden overlooking Hot Water Beach, we packed up for a short hike. About 15 minutes away was a trail the leads to Cathedral Cove. The hike started at the top of the overlook and took about 30-40 minutes down the trail. The end of the trail put us on a small beach with a rock formation similar to the Hole in the Rock (see above). The difference is that at low tide you walk through instead of sail through. The archway is the “cathedral”. We took a bunch of pictures, scrambled around some rocks, and ended the visit by finding a geocache that almost beat us (Amy didn’t give up). After the hike back up the mountain, we had earned some food. ... read more
On the hike
Catheral Cove
At the beach

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Coromandel » Hahei November 12th 2007

Today we headed to the Coromandel Peninsula, southeast of Auckland. We said goodbye to the Bavaria B&B and rented our little car. Driving on the left side of the road was really pretty easy and we made it out of the city and on to the highway. We took a few stops to enjoy the scenery, do some shopping, and hunt some geocaches. We even stopped at someone’s house to buy some avocadoes. Our route crossed some small mountains and there were some sections just like West Virginia switchbacks. The scenery along the Coromandel Coast was beautiful, lots of looks over blue harbors as we wound through the mountains right along the water. (Note from Amy: Brian is doing a fantastic job driving and all I’m doing is feeling sick from all of the “swirlies”). We ... read more
From the road
Amy and Friends in Hot Water
Cottage

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia November 8th 2007

Today was the last day in the north and we spent in on the water. We awoke to a bright sunny day and after breakfast, we took a walk around the grounds of the Copthorne Hotel where we stayed. It was right on the bay and very scenic. This is actually the best hotel in the area and is next to the Treaty Grounds. This wasn’t our first choice but after seeing it, we’re really glad they put us here over the others. After that, we packed up and boarded the touring catamaran (powered with a cruising speed of about 25 knots). This trip is called the “Cream Trip” and use to be the delivery of milk and cream through the island. Today it delivers mail and tourists to some amazing sights. We found some seats ... read more
At the Copthorne Waterfront
Bonnie
Amy on the Hike

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia November 8th 2007

I should have named this entry “Still raining”. We haven’t seen the sun in 4-5 days and Brian is starting to freak out. Chris was our tour guide and a very cool guy. We had a long discussion of New Zealand politics and their stance of nuclear programs at lunch. Our first stop was an ancient Kauri forest and it was pouring. Short shop. After stopping about 10 times for bathrooms (lots of old people on the bus) and a long drive up a gravel road, we made it to the top of New Zealand and …the sun! A great setting where the Tasman sea and the Pacific come together. This point of the Island is called Cape Reinga and has some significance to the Maori. A small tree grows on a bit of rock and ... read more
Amy and the Maori Tree
"Self Portrait"
Brian Sandboarding

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Bay of Islands » Paihia November 8th 2007

Today we headed toward the northern most part of the island. The weather was great (if you’re a duck). Lot’s of rain. We hopped on a charter bus from Auckland to Paihia, about 4 hours north. Our driver, Wes, was Maori, the original settlers of New Zealand. They are distant cousins of Hawaiians. Wes taught us a bit about the people and the language. Kia oro (key-orda) is thanks! Who knew the trip would be educational? At a rest stop, Amy forgot her purse but someone found it right before we left. Dodged a bullet and didn’t have to return to the outback like last time. Our first stop was the treaty grounds where the Maori and the English signed their treaty in order to live jointly in this new settlement. The treaty gave the Maori ... read more
Where the Treaty Was Signed
Brian and Amy in Russell




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