Don’t forget… more of our photos can be found here…
So after the ANZAC day service we set out on our last road trip – down to Wellington, about a 4 hour drive.As usual the New Zealand scenery was stunning. At Foxton it became very flat and suddenly there was a Dutch windmill! That was a surprise. We stopped off and filled up with Dutch liquorice and other Dutch goodies from the shop inside. It was like being back in Amsterdam.
Arriving in Wellington we saw our cousins’ new home for the first time.
Unlike many NZ houses it is 3 storeys high, and set in the bush. It feels just like living in a big tree house!For the last few days we’ve been up to all sorts – fishing in Wellington Harbour, visiting the Wellington Botanical Gardens, visiting the brilliant Te Papa museum which has a Gallipoli exhibition on until 2019, visiting old friends from Wales, and meeting new people over pizza cooked in a home made pizza oven. It’s been busy!
We’ve had a great 2 weeks touring around with Chris and Belinda and the kids.
All change tomorrow – Chris and Belinda are back in work, the kids are back to school and we fly out Monday evening for Auckland, LA and London…
A great 4 week holiday 🙂
Many New Zealanders go to an ANZAC day celebration at dawn but after over three weeks of fairly continuous touring, we could only manage the 11am service. Plus we had to pack up and leave the ski holiday house in Ohakune.
ANZAC Day is very similar to our Remembrance Sunday. New Zealanders and Australians remember and celebrate their service personnel, past and present. We were very fortunate to be able to attend a service in the NZ National Army Museum in Waiouru.The service was very moving and organised with typical army efficiency. Other than the veterans who were so pleased to see each other, that the drill sergeant major had trouble keeping them in formation. They knew that they were exempt from army discipline!
The museum is fantastic and really worth a visit. There was plenty to keep the kids interested, and the adults as well. We only had a short time in the museum. I would happily go back. But it was a very moving place to watch an ANZAC service.
Now back to Chris and Belinda’s house near Wellington for a few days of relaxation (and to catch up on the laundry).
Wow my first “active” volcanos, with smoke coming out of a fumerole on Mt. Tongariro just to remind everyone that they aren’t dormant yet.
The views were genuinely amazing and stunning. On Mt. Ruapehu there was also a helicopter working very hard, moving building supplies in preparation for the winter ski season. The helicopter was particularly impressive when silhouetted against the blue skies.
Belinda and I had a very pleasant lunch half way up Mt Ruapehu. Paul, Chris and the kids caught two ski lifts and had lunch at the top.
The more classic volcano shaped mountain is Mt Ngauruhoe and the third volcano is Mt Tongariro. All of which are situated in the Tongariro National Park.
Click on any of the smaller photos for a bigger view.
Not a joke I promise. Our day at the Huka Falls Hot Prawn Fishing Farm started with an excellent guided tour and advice on how best to catch prawns.
This farm is the only Hot Prawn Farm in the world … I wasn’t surprised. The local river water is combined with local geothermal naturally heated water to fill 19 outdoor ponds. The prawns love it and thrive – until they nibble the bait on the end of a cane fishing rod. Each catch is greeted by cheers… at least by the humans. You can cook the prawns at the site or take them home on a bag of ice.
It’s a surprisingly social activity with families chatting and relaxing together as they wait for the prawns to bite.
Then the most stunningly beautiful drive which started around Lake Taupo and ended with the awesome volcanoes of Tongariro National Park.