To Bay of Plenty

Published: May 3rd 2007
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After a breakfast on the sunny terrace we headed south towards Auckland crossing the harbour bridge which was widened by adding what are nicknamed ‘Nippon Clip-Ons’ because they were installed by the Japanese. The traditional coffee and scone was at a small town called Paeroa. The sun was now so hot sat outside the café that I had to drink my coffee quickly and seek shade. The weather was bizarrely variable because at some times during the journey there were heavy downpours. We diverted to a town called Te Aroha for the interesting Ewardian spa. The town is at the base of an impressive Mount Te Aroha. The spa rooms are all private and we hired one for a half hour. The hot tub is filled with the hot soda water that wells up naturally. The water feels oily to the touch and is supposed to have beneficial properties. It was a very relaxing experience. There is an erratic geyser just uphill from the spa ut as it was raining again we decided to miss out on it. We followed a wonderful valley and then climbed over a steep pass which gave lovely views. We descended into Tauranga where we are staying the night. First impressions were not so good as we passed through endless suburbs (Tauranga is one of NZ’s fastest growing towns). Jen was feeing a bit ill (no doubt mainly due to worrying about her dad) so I headed for a brief explore of the rather modern town centre. Later I headed off on foot to the supermarket passing an estate agents where an auction of properties was taking place. There was a loudspeaker out onto the street so I listened. It was interesting to hear bids of $400,000 NZ$ (it must be nerve racking for the bidders). I spent ages backing up CD’s of photos. It was laborious and I didn’t finish till 1am.


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