In October 2006 we did a trip to New Zealand starting with a few days in the North Island covering Aukland and Rotorua. From Rotorua we flew to Blenheim in the South Island via Wellington.The bulk of the trip covered the South Island starting from Blenheim and driving around the island anti-clockwise visiting Picton, Nelson, Punakaiki, Hokitika, Franz Josef Glacier, Fox Glacier, Lake Matheson, Haast, Queenstown, Te Anua, Milford Sound, Dunedin, Moeraki, Oamaru, Mount Cook and finishing in Christchurch.
After Aukland we drove to Rotorua where we stayed in a lovely B&B run by an interesting couple. The house was full of photos from the local sights but in one part of the corridor there was a photograph of The Beatles and there was a lady in those pictures which as it turns out was the owner of the B&B. She was a huge Beatles fan and when they first visited New Zealand in 1964 she was determined to see them. So she borrowed a reel-to-reel tape recorder and showed up at the hotel where the Beatles were staying and said she was there to interview them. She got into their room and set up the interview having to get Ringo to help her as she had no idea how to operate the reel-to-reel tape recorder. A lovely story.
Rotorua, a town set on its namesake lake on New Zealand’s North Island, is renowned for its geothermal activity and Maori culture. In Te Puia’s Whakarewarewa Valley, there are bubbling mud pools and the 30m-tall Pohutu Geyser, which erupts many times daily. It’s also home to a living Maori village and the New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, with traditional wood carving and weaving schools.
We made a trip to see the livestock show at the Agrodome Farm where we were introduced to all the various species of sheep and were given a sheep shearing demonstration.
Suit Yoo had her moment of glory when she had the chance to milk one of the cows.
Next stop was the Skyline cable car which gave us a great view over Rotorua.
We then took the luge down from the top which was a thrilling way to get back down.
Rotorua is a well known volcanic area with numerous hot springs, mud pools and geysers. We visited the Waikite Geyser which was very impressive.
In the evening we attended the traditional Tamaki Maori Cultural Show. Although very touristy the content and quality of the shows were wonderful and gave us a great insight into this culture.
We flew from Rotorua to Blenheim in the South Island via Wellington to start the second part of our New Zealand tour. I had this wonderful coffee at Rotorua airport before we departed complete with traditional silver fern emblem of New Zealand.
Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia
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