New Zealand 2016 – post #1

Hi. Close on three days in NZ, North Island. 

After flight delays, Dale and I finally make it around 1.30 am to the Heartland Hotel, Auckland Airport – finally meeting up with Dake’s sister Diana and husband Tom – they had arrive from the States two days earlier. It will be great to spend the next 2 1/2 weeks with them in NZ, home in Brisbane and in Cairns for four nights.

With just enough sleep, and after picking up our rented Hyundai Tucson, and with overcoast skies we head east (?) to the Coromandel Peninsula, looking forward to checking out picturesque Cathedral Cove. Well, the 80 minutes round trip walk tested my fitness – sharply inclined walking track and all, but glad I made it there. Just like in the travel pages





Cathedral Cove done, and we’re off to our destination, Taupo – on the northern shores of Lake Taupo, largest natural lake in the Southern Hemisphere, so the say. After fish and chips at Tarua mid-afternoon, Tom drove much of the way to Taupo, getting in at 7.30 to our Lakeside Villas base camp for the next week. A trip to the Countdown supermarket (think NZ Woolworths) for basics, and I join Tom, him fully versed in the peculiarities of American Football, in us watching the enthralling Broncos v. cowboys rugby league semi final. A fun experience explaining rugby league/rugby union differences as they game went on. Glad we have Skyports on our NZ TV here. Sadly, a gallant Broncos loss in extra time.
Saturday turns out a quiet day. The weather is on the miserable side, so we have breakfast at Taupo McDonald’s (only Maccas in world where you can eat above ground in a converted DC3!) apart from light shopping, we take it easy for the rest of the day. Well- apart from a wonderful roast lamb and veges dinner cooked by Dale, that is. It was so good! Nex Zealand lamb – yes 


Today – Sunday , we accompany Diana and Tom to the local Roman Catholic church for Mass. Huge building, large congregation, relaxed-accessible liturgy, lots of child-leadership, good music and great leadership by the priest. 

After morning tea (just got to use my Coffee Club VIP Card!), and under uncertain skies, we head to just out of town to a thermal area called Craters of the Moon – a must see/do if in Taupo. Plenty of steam spewing out of the ground as one passes by on a well-constructed Boardwalk.


Late afternoon, the sky clearing somewhat, Dale and I walk across the road to see if the mountains of Tongariro National Park can be seen in the distance. No luck, but nice to see the lake in sunnier circumstances. 


Cheers,

David

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