Slow start to exploring New Zealand
08.10.2010 21 °C
Our time in New Zealand
Well our start to New Zealand has been fairly low key. We have been staying at the Cronsberry’s home in Tauranga while they explore Australia. We have been taking it easy because we are all fighting a cold so restful days are just what is needed to beat the bug. On days when the majority of the Allore Family are feeling okay, we did get out and do some exploring in the Tauranga area.
This is a picture of the entrance to the hike Paul did in order to get his first geocache in New Zealand. He couldn’t resist going given the name (Minden is Paul’s home town) and the bonus, it is only 15 minutes from our home base in Tauranga. He was successful in finding the geocache, but also picked up some information on how scratchy local plants can get. This is quite evident on his legs and arms, but no need to show that here.
When driving in and around Tauranga, one of the dominant landscape features is Mount Manganui. In Mauri, Maunga means mountain and nui means big, (possibly). Since we have hit upon some beautiful sunny weather, we decided to climb to the summit of the Mount. This is a scene of part of the summit path. Towards the bottom of the hike, the path goes through paddocks (fields) of grazing sheep. As you progress up the side of the mount the views change as we circle the mount...some views of the town of Maunganui, some of the bay, some of Tauranga.
Some sheep along the path and yes a truck up ahead. OK, we didn’t need our crampons and ropes to climb this mountain, but it was still enjoyable.
One of the views from the mount. That is an island in the background and then the mainland.
One of the great things about having friends who are living in New Zealand is that they can give us the scoop on the great places to visit. One such place was Tarawera Falls. So we climbed in the kiwicar (Kiwi) (that is what we call our car), and headed out for the drive. After driving about 20 km on a logging road during which we saw 4 wallabies, we arrived at the walk. It was indeed a beautiful spot. The river was so clear and deep, if not wide. The waterfall, spectacular.
We didn’t know that there were wallabies in NZ, so we google.co.nzed wallabies in New Zealand and sure enough there are! It is believed that someone brought them to NZ around 1858. Unfortunately they did not keep sufficiant records of this event so the exact origin on the wallabies is not agreed upon.
Another shot of the Tarawera River; Paul Ayden and Claire at TaraWera Falls
Here are the falls. They come out of the cliff face. It is quite loud and misty, but as you can see quite amazing.
Another natural beauty we saw along the walk to Tarawera Falls.
After the falls we drove to Tarawera Lake to have lunch. Even though the sun was out it was still a bit chilly so we bundled up a bit and munched our lunch on the shores of a beautiful lake. (reminded us of Algonquin Park, with the addition of Palm Trees).
In the video we threw a rock in the water and it floated. This is not a trick, it actually happened. The stone is pumice stone and although the stone in the video is probably 5 – 10 lbs, it has enough closed air spaces inside to keep it afloat. We didn’t hang around long enough to see if it would eventually sink.
Spring has sprung in New Zealand!