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New Zealand 04

Unlike most other trips, this one was for primarily family reasons, to visit my Auntie Rae with Mum and my sister Ellen, because Uncle Paul had just died. Ellen and I left Mum at Auckland airport, waiting for a small plane to the Far North to be with Auntie Rae; Ellen and I, meanwhile, spent a week touring before heading north ourselves to join them.

Our rental car, a Toyota Echo, called a Yaris in the UK.

Some parrots in an aviary in Otorohanga.

The exit from Waitomo caves, where you go on a boat to see the glowworms in the dark.

Ellen Driving

NZ countryside

Daily Telegraph Building, Napier. The city of Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in the 1930s, and so was rebuild in the style of the day, ie. art deco.

Briascos Building, Napier

Emerson St., Napier

National Bank, Napier

State Highway 38 is the main road from Rotorua to the Hawkes Bay coast at Wairoa. However, for 105km the middle section is unsealed - ie. gravel. There would have been some spectacular scenery, had the weather not been inclement.

Mountains from SH38

Boiling mud in Rotorua, well known for its thermal activity.

Ellen in Rotoura

Geyser in Rotorua

Hot pools Whakarewarewa 1. The pools vary in temperature. In one, they dangle some sweetcorn, that you can buy and eat.

Hot pools Whakarewarewa 2

Hot pools Whakarewarewa 3

Maori meeting house Whakarewarewa

Kiwi 1. These kiwi are stuffed, because as they are nocturnal, they live in darkend buildings with the daylight reversed artificially so visitors can see them. Obviously flashes would disturb them, so there are some stuffed kiwi outside.

Kiwi 2


Trout 1. There are some springs that wild trout reach by jumping the rapids from the lake.

Trout 2

Trout pool

Hobbiton 1, the area where some of the Lord of the Rings films were shot.

Hobbiton 2

View from Kaimai range

Big kiwifruit, enticing travellers to visit the orchard and shop.

Ellen eating kiwifruit-flavoured ice cream

Kiwifruit tractor ride around the orchard.

View north from Mount Maunganui

Mount Maunganui town from The Mount from whence it is named.

Mount Maunganui beach

Tauranga from the Mount

The Mount

Ellen on Mount Maunganui beach 1

Ellen on the beach 2

Me and Garth 1 - eventually Ellen gets a good photo - after 5 attempts!

Me and Garth 2

Me and Garth 3

Me and Garth 4

Me and Garth 5

Dome forest café, between Auckland and Whangarei, where we always seem to stop for refreshments.

Haruru Falls

Cicade 1, the insect that makes all the noise in the forest.

Cicade 2

Crossing the Bay of Islands on the Russell ferry.

Me eating icecream in Russell

Carving inside the Maori Meeting house at Waitangi.

Auntie Rae's shrub that we bought for her two years previously. on that trip, at one point it was left on the roof of the car and fell off, so it's surprising that it has survived this long!

Cape Reinga, the tip of the North Island (not the furthest north point, just the most famous bit, like John O'Groats).

Cape Reinga lighthouse

Cape Reinga sign

Ninety-mile Beach, that you can drive along.

Ninety-mile Beach speed limit sign!


Hokianga from Signal Station Point

Hokianga harbour

LAX, Los Angeles airport on the way home.