Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cars and Gondolas

It’s not as easy to sell your car here as it is in the UK (fewer shoppers) so when a company said they’d buy Geoff’s car we drove to the other side of Cambridge (1 hr 45 min) to get rid. Geoff led the way and I followed in the Grandis and then we were one car less, Geoff is using my car to get to and from work this week which is going to cost him loads in petrol.

On the way back we stopped at the Gondola in Rotorua. There are only 2 in the whole of New Zealand and we have been on the in Queenstown and needed to complete the set. Great views of the lake at the top and a luge to ride on if you wanted as well as a nature walk. There was a Jelly bean shop with an interesting portrait of Harry Potter as well!

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Kerosene Creek

The AA book arrived last week with an article on 50 hidden wonders of New Zealand and one was close enough to pop out and see after Geoff got back from school on Friday 25th, Maddy didn’t as she’d brought her friend home to sleep over.

10 minutes down the road (SH5) on the way to Rotorua there is a right turn onto an unsealed road full of pot holes that leads to a parking area with the base of Rainbow mountain on the left and the creek on the right. As we weren’t sure how far down the track the creek was we kept stopping to see if we were there yet!

The creek is a thermal stream with mini waterfalls that has been dammed slightly to form a hot pool, no time to try it on Friday and I don’t think we’ll get back before the 6th when we fly.

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Glass Blown Garden

In a desperate attempt to get Geoff and Maddy away from the top 15 Disney songs and top 10 villains songs on You Tube I bundled them into the car and down the road to the glass blowing place. We had seen the glass blowing before so we just popped into the garden this time. When we tried to leave the gate refused to open so we had to shout for help until the lady from the shop came and rescued us.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Te Puia Geyser

A geothermal valley with a Maori and woodcarving arts centre. Maddison reckons once you’ve seen one geothermal valley you’ve seen them all (a bit like the pyramids) so she chose to stay at home while Geoff and I drove into Rotorua to explore. We got in free as local residents and then wandered round at just the right time to see the geyser erupt. Obviously we stopped at the shop to buy a fridge magnet on our way out, but we checked out the Rotorua mud as we are looking for gifts to bring back with us!

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Redwoods made into a tourist attraction


Kiwi’s are versatile people who make the most of what goes on around them. They could have described the trees as invasive and chopped them down , but no scenic walks, biking trails, . . . . as we discovered one Sunday afternoon.

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Armageddon Hamilton May 2014

A Comic festival where they go dressed as their favourite comic book, science fiction fantasy character. We booked overnight in a motel right next to the conference centre and got in line about 9:30am for a 10am opening. Great fun and loads of pictures. The actor who played Oin from the Hobbit was one of the speakers and Maddy had a photo taken with Christopher Judge from Star Gate. Lots of memorabilia ( and T shirts).

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

SADD in Napier

Tuesday 29th April – Thursday 1st May was the Students against Dangerous Driving conference in Napier and Maddison and Isabelle were the representatives for Western Heights High School. Rather than drop them off (2 and a half hours drive there) we decided to stay and partake of the delights of Napier.

There was a nasty earthquake there in 1931 and many of the buildings were rebuilt in Art Deco style. We stayed at the Art Deco Masonic Hotel and visited the National Aquatic Centre, The Faraday Museum, Bluff Point, The Silky Oak Chocolate Factory, Train World and a large number of very cute shops.

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