Monday, June 26, 2017

Onemana to Coromandel

We had a pretty neat experience at Hot Water Beach!  There's hot water seeping up through the sand at low tide so you can dig your own hot pool right next to the ocean.  It was raining when we were driving there but we had to go do it anyway and then slowly the sun came out and it was beautiful! do we do this?

Getting somewhere.  You can't dig right where the hot water is because it's way too hot so we made a trench for the hot water to flow into our pool and mix with the cooler water.

Pretty shallow but it worked :)

Cooling off in the ocean

Can you imagine how busy this would be in the summer?!

Pukehina to Onemana

From one tiny beach town to another.  We started the day by driving into Tauranga and going to Mt. Manganui.  

Beautiful beach once again!  Mauao in the background is an extinct volcanic cone with several historic Maori Pa sited on it.  Lots of surfers out in the water!

 If only the surfers knew there was a soldier shooting at them :)

We stopped to check out a bird garden (which we didn't end up going to) but were treated to an up close view of this peacock.

Katikati - known as Mural Town.

 We arrived in Onemana while it was a bit drizzly but when we walked to the beach the sun was starting to peak through and we saw a beautiful rainbow ending in the ocean.  Just caught a bit of it on camera.

And then...we were treated to an amazing sun set as the waves rolled in.  An awesome end to the day!

Gisborne to Pukehina

Thursday we drove a little over 200 kms and went through very hilly farmland, natural, mountainous forests and then back to the coast again.  It's unreal how quickly the landscape changes and how long  it takes to drive a couple hundred kms compared to Canada!

A quick stop to stretch our legs and check out the river we kept seeing meander below the road.  Just a phone picture and the green just doesn't show like the vibrant colour it was.

We stopped in Whakatane and checked out a few of the local historical sights.

The legend is that this is the cave where Muriwai, sister of the captain of one of the first canoes that arrived in NZ in the 1300s, lived.

We spent 2 nights in Pukehina.  It was a pretty wet day we were there so we drove into Tauranga and walked through the mall and then took the kids to the local pool to pass the time there.

We saw a little homage to our Dutch heritage on the sidewalk in Tauranga :)

Finally checking out the beach in across the road from where we were staying the morning we left.  Huge waves!

Napier to Gisborne

On the 21st we left Napier for a 10 day journey to see a bit more of this beautiful country before we head back home.

Our first stop of the day was Lake Tutira.  It was gorgeous with the fog just lifting off the lake and the reflection was amazing!

The curious fantail.

We took a detour to see the Mahia Penninsula.

Oh, the waves.  We will miss all the amazing beaches!  You can see Mahia Peninsula in the background.

We spent the night in a Top10 Holiday Park which the kids loved because there was a jumpy pillow and it was right on the beach.

A few fun pictures from Conrad's run in the morning :)

Foxtrot Flats
NZ shortest river

Captain Cook

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Goodbye Napier!

After 3 lovely weeks in Napier we're on our way again!  We're looking forward to seeing quite a bit more in the next week and a half as we make our way up to the most northern tip of NZ.  

Some last pictures of our time here:

Kite flying in the fields right behind the house we're staying in.  This was a great location for us with lots of room to play and a playground too!

Visiting the Art Deco souvenir shop :)

The infamous possum.  These critters were brought over from Australia in the 1800s as an attempt to start a fur industry.  Little did they know that because there are no predators the population of these animals would rise astronomically and would quickly became pests. Despite trapping, poisoning and shooting there are still over 30 million in the country.

Silly boys...

This guy plays so well on his own a lot of the time but does beg for someone to play soccer or rugby with him or time on the computer.  Pretty well rounded I'd say :)

A walk through the botanical gardens in Napier.  The seasons are so mixed up here and would definitely take some getting used to for someone who moved here from North America or Europe.  It's fall/winter and lots of trees have lost their leaves but at the same time things are being planted, some trees are budding and you can still find flowering trees!

A pigeon house.

Freshly planted primula.

Some silly kids on a pretty bridge.

Some pretty blossoms...

And a souvenir to take home for our kiwi babe - made with New Zealand sheepskin and wool. :)