Saturday, April 12, 2014

long time no type

So we are settling in and not doing so much apart from school work. The 12 week term is a bit of a killer!

School has started a photography club for the kids so I put a couple of pictures in,

IMG_4309 RED



Maddison has taken part in the Shakespeare festival as a director with a scene from Much Ado About Nothing


it took them 1 1/2 hours to complete the judging! so it was a long wait.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Orakei Korako 30-12-13

Our last trip of 2013 a thermal park in a hidden valley, not that it wasn’t well signposted or anything and only about 30 minutes drive away, but there was a short trip across the lake to get there.

It rained a bit while we were there and Maddison has got to the point where if you’ve seen one thermal park you’ve seen them all! Steamed up glasses were another problem but we got over it. This thermal park had a cave and mud pools as well to distinguish it from the other 2 Maddison has visited. We finished the day with fish and chips in Taupo hence the photo of the grate.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Kiwi Christmas

Here we are in the middle of our first Christmas down under. We were up for 8:30am on Christmas morning and managed some of the presents before I left for church. Geoff and Maddy stayed at home to watch TV and I played guitar. Then it was create a trifle, wash the cherries and ‘slap the cream’ on top of the pav (pavlova in English). A pavlova here is about 2 inches deep and then you add another inch or two of cream and then decorate, yummy. Then we left for the Vermurden’s for lunch BBQ of course. Eleanor was there with her 2 grown up sons, a lovely afternoon.

Boxing day we played Dr Who monopoly and Dr Who trivial pursuits Geoff won the first and I am a Time Lord because I won the trivial pursuits. I did make Geoff and Maddy play on expert level while I played on intermediate but it was a fair game :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Buried Village 19-12-13

Obviously our next stop was the buried village, after having cruised the lake and walked the valley where else would we go. About 15 minutes the other side of Rotorua, past the Blue and Green Lakes, are the remains of the village of Te Wairoa, owned and operated by the Smith family since 1931 when they first reopened the tea rooms to tourists. The museum is very well laid out and informative, my favourite exhibit was a petrified bowler hat. From the museum you get to walk round the remains of the village, to be honest there isn’t much left. What they do have is well labelled and the audio tour was excellent. Some of the most interesting parts were the mud that covered the village, currently about 1m is uncovered at the blacksmiths house to see, the petrified flour and the fence posts. Originally these marked the edges of the properties in the village but the nutrients in the mud caused them to grow into an avenue of poplar trees that have only recently been cut down. Once through the village you can visit Wairere falls and then onto the tea rooms, the web site had tokens for a free hot drink so we sat and did our duty while the sparrows scavenged the cake others had left behind. One enterprising bird dipped the cake in the jam!

IMG_0701   Blue lake, you can swim in here, and ski.

IMG_0708 Green lake, sacred Maori lake.


IMG_0710 model of what the white terraces looked like. Water temperature was suitable for bathing.

Waimangu Volcanic Valley 17-12-13

When Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886 the nearby Lake Rotomahana exploded to 20 times it’s original size and seven new craters were erupted forming Waimangu valley. 20 minutes down the road towards Rotorua we popped over to see what is was about. Quite an expensive trip for us as the boat trip round the Lake was full price, we only got locals rate on the 4km walk down the valley.

All sorts of pictures in this album as we walked down the easy trail. On the boat trip we sailed over the pink and white terraces that the Victorians used to visit, they are now under 60m of water.

12th December Cruising on the Ernest Kemp

The Ernest Kemp is a replica steamboat that runs daily cruises on Lake Taupo to the World Famous Maori rock carvings that were created in the late 70’s. In typical Garnett style we phoned at 4pm to make sure there was room on the 5pm sailing then set off for Taupo at ten past. It’s a 30 minute drive (less if you ignore the speed limit and get a ticket Geoff!) but we got there with time to spare and even manage local rates, $20 each, a saving of $50. The cruise included a free soft drink and a lollipop to prevent queasy stomachs and took 2 hours round the bay.


The yacht used to belong to Eroll Flynn.

When we got back Geoff took us out for dinner. Posh food not Burger King! Steak and salmon for me and Geoff and a posh burger for Maddison. Tasty but we will try somewhere else next time.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ernest Kemp Cruise

How to the start the holidays. What adventures shall we fill in the time until January 24th with? Our first choice was a cruise on Lake Taupo on the Ernest Kemp. Locals were offered the special rate of $20 instead of $40 until December 22nd so we decided to take advantage and spend 2 hours on the lake. We followed this with dinner at the Westlake restaurant, ok, but we'll try somewhere else next time.
The whole point of the cruise was to see some Maori carvings in the rock face, they are not ancient, only 30 years old, but interesting all the same. On the way there Maddy got to drive the boat, she could have had a swim at the carvings as well if we had known!
The yacht once belonged to Errol Flynn.