Blogs from Napier, North Island, New Zealand, Oceania

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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier April 25th 2018

In a week or so I will be setting off for a couple of months of traveling around S.E. Asia. I am surprised it has taken me so long to want to visit this destination, which is relatively close to home (12 hours in a plane as opposed to 24 hours in a plane to Europe). Until recently I have been under the ridiculous illusion that many of the countries in Asia are full of third world problems with little to see in the way of beautiful historical buildings and culturally relevant art. It has taken the internet to open my eyes to how mid 20th century and narrowly eurocentric my views about Asia were. YouTube vlogs and a host of travel blogs have shown me just how stupidly wrong my ideas about Asia have been, ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier April 9th 2018

Blog 24 Napier, New Zealand, April 7 ,2018 – Weather forecast: sunny with scattered clouds; temperature 22°C, wind 23kts (6 Beaufort) Today we went out to Clifton Station, one of New Zealand’s many sheep stations. The human population of NZ is approximately 4.5 million while the sheep population is over 25 million; down from the 60 million that lived in NZ just a decade ago. At the station we were entertained by the station owner along with his two sheep dogs expertly handling a flock of sheep. With simple hand signals and whistling from Tom the dogs moved the sheep from a distant area of the paddock and into the shearing barn. There a professional sheep shearer expertly handled a sheep and remove its year’s worth of wool, while one of the staff provided colour commentary. ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier March 7th 2018

As everyone knows, riding pillion is an acquired and rare skill. It’s about combining your weight with that of the bike in such a way that the rider simply moves the bike and the pillion makes no difference at all. Pam is a particularly good pillion. Never flaps, weight always neutral, relaxed and confident (rightly or wrongly) in my ability to negotiate whatever the road throws at us. Up to now, the greatest accolade that I would have said that you can give a pillion rider is to say that you don’t even notice they are there. Yet something happened the other day that I believe warrants an even greater complement. After writing the last blog, Pam and I had decided to take a late afternoon ride along the crest of the hills around the Banks ... read more
Picton Ferry
Wellington
Weta Workshops

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier January 18th 2018

18/1/18. Napier The rain has followed us to Napier, we recognised some of the clouds. The C.O. did not sleep well and was not encouraged that I had a good nights sleep. To cheer herself up she decided to get her talons sharpened but could not find suitable nail bar. Met the Woods and Tasker family for a pleasant lunch - first cheese scone. The C.O. and I then went to prison (for only an hour) before our walking tour. The walking tour contained a lot of information on architectural details. A bit of historical information:- The Hawkes Bay earthquake of 1931 devastated Napier and still remains New Zealand's deadliest natural disaster. The many fires that broke out could not be extinguished. The lagoon was raised by 2.7 metres and the water drained back into the ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier January 17th 2018

Woke up after not a bad sleep but totally confused about local times, dates and own identity. The C.O. Appears to be as confused as I am - not her usual commanding self. We had some time before our 11:50 flight to Napier. Checked out of hotel and decided to walk to the internal flight departure lounge and get breakfast there. We followed a green line set in the pavement and yomped to departures. The internal flight departure lounge had nowhere near the facilities of the international lounge. We struggled to find breakfast but settled for a largely inedible breakfast bap and a flat white coffee with a heart fashioned on the top. We boarded the plane that the C.O. was disappointed to note that it had propellers. However, we bravely boarded the aircraft and strapped ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier January 17th 2018

The C.O. and I did not sleep well but arose seeking sustinence. As we did not have a flight to Napier, we thought we would yomp over to the internal departures building, check our bags in and get some breakfast. We checked out of the Novatel, commandeered a trolley and set off following a green painted line to the terminal. On arrival, the automated check in and boarding card print system did not want to know us. We captured a manager who manage to do this for us but we had to tell the bag drop personnel that we were on a "weight ticket". These magic words allowed us to check in our cases and get some breakfast. Internal departure terminals do not have the same facilities as international departure lounges. Breakfast consisted of a rather ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier January 17th 2018

Sorry forgot to publish this blog. C.O. Has put me on jankers. Woke up after not a bad sleep but totally confused about local times, dates and own identity. The C.O. Appears to be as confused as I am - not her usual commanding self. We had some time before our 11:50 flight to Napier. Checked out of hotel and decided to walk to the internal flight departure lounge and get breakfast there. We followed a green line set in the pavement and yomped to departures. The internal flight departure lounge had nowhere near the facilities of the international lounge. We struggled to find breakfast but settled for a largely inedible breakfast bap and a flat white coffee with a heart fashioned on the top. We boarded the plane that the C.O. was disappointed to note ... read more

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier January 14th 2018

A fond farewell to Whitianga today, but not before we grabbed the opportunity to capture a few sunrise snaps - although the cloud cover wasn't ideal, we still managed to get a few decent ones! But, we couldn't hang around too long because today we were really going to be in Hot Water.........literally, as it happens, because our first stop on the journey to Rotorua was 'Hot Water Beach'. About 40 minutes south of Whitianga (on the road to Tairua), we hung a left down the mysteriously named 'Hot Water Beach Road', for 5 or 6 miles; pulled up at the 'Hot Water Beach Cafe' to hire a couple of spades ($5 each) and then park up just round the corner, right next to this massive beach. About 100 metres along the beach there was a ... read more
Sunrise at Whitianga 2
Hot Water Beach 1
Hot Water Beach 2

Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier March 7th 2017

Napier 26th February Arriving on Sunday afternoon through the industrial area doesn't prepare what you will find in this town. Rebuilt after the deadly 1931 earthquake in the style of the time, the city retains a unique concentration of Art-Deco buildings. The earthquake killed 161 with a further 101 fatalities in neighbouring Hastings and reduced much of the town to rubble. The land in places rose 7 feet and Napier airport was later built on land that was once the seabed. Napier was rebuilt in two years in the Art Deco and Spanish Mission styles popular in the 1930s and is now regarded as the Art Deco capital of the world. Napier is low-rise and we were looking forward to walking the streets to look at the 1930's facades which can provoke the atmosphere of the ... read more
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Oceania » New Zealand » North Island » Napier February 9th 2016

We hadn't needed a car while in Wellington but we were about to commence our travels around North Island so a car was our chosen form of transport once again. We'd arranged this in advance, using the Ace car rental company who had done us so proud in South Island both in terms of service and vehicle so we hoped for the same standard from the North Island Wellington office. Well, dream on ..... We had arranged to be collected from our hotel by Ace but, two phone calls later and still no show, we hopped into a taxi instead. When we arrived at the offices we found a lovely young girl who had been in the job all of three weeks trying to manage the telephone, the hotel pick-ups, the customers and cars all on ... read more
Our North Island car
North Island scenery
Monarch butterfly




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