Driving South in the North Island.

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January 26th 2011
Published: January 26th 2011
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Thursday Morning
I wish the Kiwis had named their Islands something different cos it gets confusing driving South in the North and going North in the South - I am sure they could have come up with a couple of good Maori names. Or maybe I am getting travel fatigue as you say , Janice!!
My Suzanne has gone off on the Ferry from Wellingotn to Picton this morning to begin her adventure on her own in the South Island. I am keeping my fingers crossed that she will have some good weather as she has a very tight schedule so no time to hang around waiting for the sun to shine. But she has planned it well and now has an emergency poncho to wear in case it rains heavily - not exactly a fashion item but useful.
So yesterday we left the cottage at Rotoiti lake and drove about 400km south to Wellington. The sun shone - and we were happy to see blue sky after the days of rain.
So first stop Lake Taupo - one of the largest volcanic eruptions on Earth about 2000 years ago - recorded by ancient civilsations- created a huge crater and which is now a very big lake. A good place to have breakfast at the lakeside and watch some oldies do their Tai Chi ( well I suppose I am an oldie too - so I could have joined in). Then on driving down the side of the lake and then you get sight of the mountains ahead of you. Volcanoes several of them - one with snow on top and one with a typical cone- so we were hoping it wouldnt erupt as we drove by...so Bob- that was the Tongariro crossing we just did - in the car though - fantastic sight.
On and on I drove - stopping every now and then for fotos and a walkabout.... great steep sided hills,(presumably volcanic in origin) deep river canyons - who is it who says there is nothing much to see in the North Island!!!! They obviously havent been here.
Approaching Wellington you drive around another range of mountains and there you are skimming the sides of them along a coastal road.... and coming to areas of population with houses dotted about on the hillsides.

Now I have to admit our Google directions let us down and we somehow headed off in completely the wrong direction to find Peter and Brigit's house... so very quickly we knew we would have to call the calvalry and Peter and son Ben arrived to escort us. It was great to meet up at last with the family who had spent Xmas in my house in 2009.
So here I am in another lovely home - having been made very welcome - I just love this house swapping - all these people you meet are fantastic and always so interesting. The house is a lovely wooden house built on several levels on a steep hillside. I like Brigit's meadow she is creating in the garden and her raised vegetable beds - and I have spotted a step ladder with herb containers sat on the steps - now there's a good idea for my old ladder in the garage!!!
Will be popping off to give back my rental car later this morning - meet Brigit for lunch and start to plan what I will be doing while I am here in Wellington. Nice to have a bit of an extended stay here - iprobably need a few days rest from being on holiday!!!
A few more photos of vocanic activity at Te Puia in Rotorua and lovely Maori carvings and traditional panels woven with flax, more Maori dancing and haka.
And thanks to Emma for telling us about the marae and church hidden away in Rotorua at the side of the lake - the interior of this church St Faith's - is enirley maori with a tiny bit of christianity thrown in - the pews and columns and pulpit and ceiling are totally carved in Maori fashion and the glass window looking out over the lake which is depicitng Christ walking on water shows him as a Maori warrior!!!! Loved it!!!
So bye for now all you lovelies.
PS - Jocelyne- am glad you got to see Federer in Melbourne.
Suzanne H. what is all this rivallry about !!!!!!! I have heard that Kiwis are flocking to Australia!!
Bob and Prill - enjoy Singapore.

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


A stuffed kiwi.A stuffed kiwi.
A stuffed kiwi.

We saw 2 real ones but you cant take fotos.

27th January 2011

Hi there
Just wanted to say that we, " the Aussie mob" are really enjoying this travel log! The photos are great. Keep safe and happy. Love Susan xxx
27th January 2011

Oh what memories!
I well remember the delight of the thermal pools / smells / mineral colours - I loved Rotorua - In our motel Margaret and I had our own hot pool - we climbed through the window to enter an enclosed space which we filled with lovely warm water - we then wallowed and enjoyed a glass of red wine - bliss! We also enjoyed the hunky warriors and the hangi - oh I'm drooling xxx
27th January 2011

Hi Lynne Now when I retire I know where I would like to travel to - thanks to your inspiring blog. Only problem is retirement age is going in the wrong direction! Take Care Love Geraldine
27th January 2011

we really love the KIWIS,we just pretend we don't !!
Hi Lynne, I wish you would turn your stories into a travel book. You write so well and I almost think I have been there after I have read your stories. Glad that your Suzanne is enjoying her trip too.It was 40 degrees here yesterday....we are wilting. love suzanne xoxo

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