OLD WIMPS OUT WALKING – NEW ZEALAND
Nigel’s Aunty Beryl was having her 80 th birthday party and we were excited to be going. Nigel’s family had lived there for several years when he was a boy but I had never been. When I was a teenager my friends were going on cruise ships to New Zealand while I was catching buses and Fokker Friendship aeroplanes to visit my sister who was living in New South Wales. It may not have been as glamorous, but I had a wonderful time off adventuring all by myself from Nambour to Brisbane, Sydney and Parkes, then by car to Forbes. Ohope beckons, so we catch a plane in Melbourne where the customs attendant grabs all my bottles of Oil of Olay and other expensive lotions and throws them in the bin. But there is less than 100 mls there! I object. Too bad lady, the bottle is too big. Groan! Lesson learned. You can tell I was not a seasoned overseas traveller.
We flew into Auckland arriving late at night and were picked up at the airport by a shuttle bus from the Motel I had booked. In the morning we picked up our hire car and were on our way.
We had a look around Auckland,dodging showers and looking for the Tomax Building where we were going to meet the NZ crew.Nigel and I were both working for our son Chris at Tomax Logistics Australia at the time.
We drive off towards Ohope, a trip of about four hours for us; we weren’t in a big hurry as there was lots to look at along the way. The beautiful lakes at Rotarua were worth stopping for, but the party beckoned so we made tracks for Ohope. At Beryl’s we had a nice view from the front verandah and we spent a lot of time walking on the beach.
The party was a great success with family coming from overseas and all of Beryl’s children and grandchildren in attendance . We’d had an outing to the local markets on a beautiful sunny day where we bought a lovely bracelet for Beryl. Our accommodation was a neat little motel just up the road where we shared a family unit with Nigel’s brother and sister and partners. it was a very special family time. But all too soon it was time to go home to Australia. Our trip back to Auckland included a visit to the geothermal tourist spots around Rotarua. Here is a bit of information for you:
Rotorua is one place where the turbulent forces that formed New Zealand are most evident. This city, on the Volcanic Plateau, has one of the world’s most lively fields of geothermal activity and sits squarely on the Pacific Rim of Fire.
Rotorua is also the ancestral home of the Te Arawa people who settled here more than 600 years ago and their presence offers the visitor numerous cultural experiences. Try a hangi feast – cooked in the steaming ground, take a tour of an authentic pre-European Maori village or treat yourself to an indulgent spa therapy. If adventure is your thing, Rotorua has many attractions to get the adrenalin flowing; everything from skydiving and luging to zorbing and one of New Zealand’s best mountain bike circuits.
It’s also a big trout fishing area with fishing on the lakes and tributary rivers and if you’re unlucky there you can sight some of the huge trout (but, alas, not catch them) at Rainbow and Fairy Springs. With its international airport, Rotorua is also the gateway to the North Island’s skifields for excellent skiing and snowboarding at Mt Ruapehu in the winter.
We took a few photos of places we saw: