We flew to Auckland on Wednesday night. Leesha met us at 12.30 am, so by the time we went to bed it was quite late for us old folks. Hamish (Leesha's new fiance) had to work on the Thursday, so Leesha sowed us Auckland and all the sort of places that she felt were the places one shows ones parents.
We saw previous homes they have resided at, the Auckland Museum, and a Mitre 10 Mega, which of course any good tourist would visit.
We had perfect weather the whole trip, which is,unheard of at Easter.
Our second day we drove to Rotorua for a three day visit. All the area is an active volcanic area. We went to Hells Gate to see the hot springs and sulphur pools. It does smell a bit, but nearly as bad as I thought it would.
In the evening we were booked int a Hangi which is a traditional Maori feast. We learnt how they arrived in The Land of The Long White Cloud, and some of their customs. We were welcomed into the village in a traditional manner which is still practised today. They showed us how their people lived in the time before Europeans arrived. The dancing, singing and food was wonderful. A great night was had by all.
One of the interesting things that we noticed was a totally different feeling when wandering in a forest in NZ in comparison to walking through the bush in Oz. It feels cleaner and I think it is due to just being less dusty.
We went for a tour on a Duck, which is one of the old WWII amphibious landing craft. These craft were used in landing troops on places like Normandy on D Day. There were two different lakes that it took us on called the Blue Lake and the Green Lake. The different colors of the lakes are mainly due to the different depth of each lake. For we people from Queensland, it was incredible to see so much beautiful clear fresh water.
The next day after the Easter Bunny had visited our motel we headed off to Lake Taupo for the day. It was a great day, and of course, for us, the weather was again perfect.
We ate Brunch by the lake at an outside restaurant, sitting in the sun. We were booked on a day cruise around the lake in the afternoon so we wandered around Taupo for a while.
Then we embarked our vessel and cruised around on a beautiful, clear, deep lake. It is on average 110 metres deep with the deepest part being 189 metres. That's DEEP.
We saw the million dollar plus homes and one place they were offered NZ$17,000,000 and they said no, because where else in the whole world would they find a better spot to replace it. There view was just about the whole lake and the position it is in, means the see no other houses and they look across to a volcanic mountain that last popped its top about 10-15 years ago.
The other attraction to observe while cruising around the lake are the Maori Rock Carvings, that were commissioned in about 1979. These carvings were done using traditional tools and depict traditional carvings. The only modern allowance made in doing the carvings was some scaffolding to comply with "Workplace Health and Safety".
Then we saw the Buried Village and wandered around the ruins. It was really beautiful in an eerie way
Definitely a GREAT time and we look forward to our next trip over there. After all when an Aussie marries a Kiwi there is no excuse for not visiting such a beautiful country more often.