A Travellerspoint blog

Kiwi Country

Saturday, Sunday, Monday

Saturday we started out the day with a visit to Aroha Island, which is reached by a causeway. It is a kiwi sanctuary and has a nice trail all around the island – about 1 km. Very informative visitors centre. Then in to town for lunch at the “Food at Wharepuke” a lovely restaurant in a botanical garden. Had a very good lunch and a nice walk in the garden. There was even a little art gallery. We drove north to find some recommended swimming beaches. Stopped at Matauri Bay, but the wind was so strong it didn’t seem too pleasant. Then drove on to Te Ngaere beach and had a lovely swim. Back to town to do the grocery shopping before returning home for supper.

Sunday we got up at 6:00 am in order to drive over to Puketi Forest to bird watch. We got there before the sun was up and walked in the Kauri forest with the birds chattering away. Very beautiful, not bird watching but bird listening! A wonderful walk on a boardwalk thru the giant trees. Then we tried to find a gorge walk we saw on the map, but it started to rain and we couldn’t find where the trail started. As well, one trail sign said it took 2 ½ hours so we headed for home. We stopped in KeriKeri at the farmer’s market and bought some fruit, etc. Then home to have some breakfast and pack some food to take with us for lunch. We went to the free concert in the park, which turned out to be a young people’s talent contest. So we didn’t stay very long, but drove over to the Croquet Grounds and walked the trail into Charlie’s Rock. This is a lovely waterfall with a deep pool at the base and lots of good jumping in spots.
Charlie's Rock Waterfall

Charlie's Rock Waterfall


We had our lunch there and then a swim, with jumping in from high spots for some and just swimming for others. Got home quite early and the guys went to hike the ridge trail, while the girls rested. Then supper and bed.

Monday we drove over to Pahia to buy our tickets for the tall ship and then took the ferry over to Russell. The tall ship was called the R. Tucker Thompson and does 6 hour sailing trips for tourists.
The ship from the bowsprit

The ship from the bowsprit


The profits are put into teaching kids to sail – they take them out for a week and they live on the ship, catch their food, learn all about sailing. It was a great day. Captain Steve with Nick, Terry, and Janna for crew. We also had Sam, a captain on his day off, with his wife and 2 kids and grandma. They showed us how to put up the sail and take then down again. Some people climbed the rigging and Murray and I went out on the bowsprit. Quite exciting. When we got back we took the ferry back to Pahia and had supper at Alfresco Restaurant, which was very nice. We finished it off with an ice cream from the Swiss Ice Cream store, before driving back to Kerikeri. Did some cleaning up and packing before going to bed.

Posted by katdill 17:34 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Travel to the North Island and Exploring Kerikeri

Kauri Trees are Amazing

Luckily Ammy had shown up for supper last night with her boyfriend’s car and stayed the night. This morning Murray’s van wouldn’t start and so Ammy gave Don and I and some luggage a ride to the airport so everyone else could go in their car. We got our flight to Auckland and when we arrived got the shuttle to the rental car place. Then we set out in the rental van and found our way out of Auckland, heading north towards the Bay of Islands. We had lunch in Orewa at the Walnut Cottage Café, a nice place to eat. We sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful day and the good food. Then back in the van to Kerikeri, where we stopped for groceries before driving on to our rental accommodation. Lots of room and a spectacular view. Had supper and went to bed.View from our rental

View from our rental

Thursday Mani decided to stay home while the rest of us went off to explore Kerikeri. We stopped at the park where the Stone Store and Kemp House are located. After seeing the Stone Store and walking a bit, we had lunch at the Pear Tree Café – very nice place. Then we went to see Rewa’s Village and Discoverer’s Garden. This is a recreation of a Maori village and a garden with lots of information about the plants and their uses. Then the men walked up the trail to Rainbow Falls. Donna and I drove into Kerikeri and shopped at a couple of fruit stands before going to buy groceries. Then over to Rainbow Falls to pick up the guys and home to make supper.Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Friday we got an early start and drove over to the Waipoua Forest, to see the giant Kauri trees. (About 3 hours there) They are huge and quite amazing – 2000 years old!! Kauri Tree

Kauri Tree


We had lunch very late in Opinoni and stopped at the hot springs at Ngawha Springs before coming home for supper. Everyone pretty tired after all that driving.

Posted by katdill 17:29 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Tomatoes and Basil

Tuesday, February 19

Today was preparing for being away day. That means harvesting the garden and dealing with all the produce. So several containers of caponata, 7 quarts of tomato sauce, and a recipe of pesto were produced, as well as more basil than I've ever seen in one spot before, was put to dry. So we're packing everything up and in the morning we are off to the airport to fly to Auckland. There we (all six of us) will pick up our rental van and start our exploration of the North Island. I don't think we will have internet coverage at either of the places we are staying so there may not be any more posts until we arrive back in LA.

Posted by katdill 19:39 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

WOW

Monday, February 18

Today we went into Nelson to see the World of Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum.At the Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum

At the Wearable Art and Classic Car Museum

We have been on a previous visit and it did not disappoint again. The amazing variety of imaginative creations is just astonishing. And we only saw a small part of what has been created. Each year when they hold the competition they have a two hour fashion show every night for over a week! After that we drove over to the Suter Art Gallery and had lunch in the park nearby. Lunch in the Japanese Gardens

Lunch in the Japanese Gardens

Then we toured the art gallery and saw an exhibition of Jane Evans, a Nelson artist who died just last year. Very nice work and there were other interesting works there as well. Then there was time for a bit of shopping and we came home for supper.

Posted by katdill 00:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Visiting with friends

Sunday, February 17

Andrew and Helen came and picked us up this morning so Don and I could spend the day with them. We went with them to Tahuna Beach to walk their dog, Gypsy. It's a huge beach with lovely sand and lots of dog walkers. A kind of off leash dog park, with fisherman and sunbathers as well. Then Andrew gave us a tour of his medical clinic, which they have completely renovated and made very energy and water efficient. They even have automatic windows that open at night to let the heat of the day out and cool air in! We drove to their house and had lunch out in the shade by the swimming pool. Andrew and Don went off to play 9 holes of golf and Helen and I walked down thru a park to the grocery store to pick up a few things. We had a swim when we got back, but then we had to get dried off so we could look at pictures and fabric, etc. Helen is quilting now and is in a little group that meets weekly to get stuff done, so we had lots to talk about. After the men got back and had a swim, we all drove back to Murray and Donna's for supper (or tea as the Kiwis say). We ate outside under the trees on the newly refinished table. A lovely meal with lots of laughing and visiting. A very nice day catching up with old friends!

Posted by katdill 11:14 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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