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Published: November 30th 2016
There is a reason why New Zealand is so green...it can rain a lot, and for our two first days on the North Island, raining a lot it would be. We had another Emirates flight today, direct from Brisbane to Auckland. Impressive to think that Emirates has today 3 flights a day between Australia and New Zealand, all on the giant A380, they must take a huge share of that market!
Early morning flight, and last night, the South Island of New Zealand had been hit by a 7.5 earthquake next to Kaikoura. This is the best place to swim with dolphins, see blue whales and eat some crayfishes. So the place was packed with tourists. Good news, as there was only casualties for such a strong earthquake. The roads are cut, people are stranded, but this is NZ...they are nice people and very fast to react. So we would follow the news on the radio while driving, but we never felt any aftershock.
Hopefully the whales and dolphins will stay as the seabed has been rised by few meters. This is the main resource of jobs in the region....so more than rebuilding, they also
need the whales!
This is the first visit of Tanya to New Zealand. I have stopped to count, but it must be something like the 6th time I'm coming to NZ. But still, I'm discovering places I have never seen before.
Our first stop is just hours west of Auckland. We picked up a cheap car at the airport and drive straight into the famous Auckland traffic jams. They may have only 3 millions inhabitants in New Zealand, they are still able to produce sizable traffic jams. We are making our way to the Coromandel Peninsula. We are spending the night at the Grand Mercure in Pauanui. Gorgeous little resort in the hills, surrounded by some seriously green vegetation. If only they could be a little more efficient, would be nice.
Dinner was back in town. I still remember a NZ that was decently cheap few years ago, this is gone! I do even believe the country is even more expensive than Australia today. No idea how backpackers can do it on a budget here...crazy prices! Till, our first dinner in the country would be a very nice one of the
famous green lips mussels, with some more than decent sauvignon blanc!
We would enjoy a last little pinot noir at the bar of the hotel. The place look actually like a gorgeous little ski chalet place. Nice bath and in bed as tomorrow morning, we have some driving on the program!
Next morning, we are touring the ring of the Coromandel Peninsula. It's a rainy day, but it still a beautiful drive. The round don't have more than 400 meters straight lines...so it's slow driving, but amazing views. The pictures do not give much due to the clouds. We stopped for an "on the road" lunch of traditional local pies.
Tonight, we are sleeping in Rotorua. I have so many pictures about this place, will take some time to sort them out....but what a place...and yes, after the rain in New Zealand, the sun is nover very late to show he can make this green country beautiful too!
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