Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Zealand picspam the first

Both Adam and I were up VERY late the night before our flight to New Zealand. I distinctly remember seeing 3:05am on my bedside clock before finally drifting off. The alarm went off at 5:50am and my wonderful Mum was due to come and drive us to the airport at 6:50am. The flight went well, we were booked in as a Qantas flight but were actually flying LAN so the kids got their first exposure to bi-lingual announcements and signage. I was only mildly uncomfortable on the plane, I needed a seat belt extension but with Caitlin as my seating partner and the arm rest partially raised there was plenty of room, I was even able to put the tray all the way down.

We arrived in Auckland at about 4pm on Saturday, bought a SIM card for the phone/modem (priorities, you see), picked up the hire car and headed off to Hamilton.

We stayed at a motel with an indoor heated pool, so Caitlin and Tom went for a swim while Adam, David and I played half a game of Killer Bunnies (somewhat hampered by extreme tiredness and most of the dice having been left at home). For dinner we found a very nice Indian restaurant and did our best not to fall asleep at the table. Getting going the next morning was a massive effort, there was snoozing at the breakfast table.

First morning in New Zealand

After brekky we made our way to Hamilton Zoo

Adam, Dave and Tom at Hamilton Zoo

North Island Weka




A slightly indulged Serval, all it needs is a fireplace to lounge in front of


We had lunch at the zoo and then headed to Waitomo to see the Glowworm cave

At the Waitomo glow worm cave

Waitomo Glowworm Cave boat tour

After the cave tour we drove to New Plymouth where we had some of the best fish and chips ever for dinner at Seafood on the Beach, stayed the night at the Copthorne Hotel and then had breakfast the next morning at a cafe called Chaos, which was quirky and friendly and delicious!

After breakfast we were back on the road and heading for Mt Taranaki/Egmont

Approaching Mt Taranaki/Egmont

View from the lookout near the Visitors Centre

View from the foot of Mt Taranaki

Looking up to the peak

At the lookout

David, Caitlin and Tom in front of Mt Taranaki

We did a short nature walk near the Visitors Centre but declined to embark on the 8 hour return hike to the peak.

Kids on a bridge

Me again

Back on the road again heading for Wellington. In Stratford we caught the tail end of the glockenspiel clocktower playing the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, found a supermarket and had lunch in a park. In Wanganui we stopped for long enough to find a lookout and look at the view.

View of Wanganui from the Durie Hill elevator

War memorial tower

In Wellington we are staying in a 3 bedroom serviced apartment and Caitlin is very glad to be sleeping in a proper bed instead of a roll-away or sofa bed.

Today we took a ferry ride out to Matiu/Somes Island for a picnic lunch and a walk around the island.

Mokopuna Island just off Matiu Island

Mokopuna Island


Te Papa O Tara - Shag Rock

Te Papa O Tara - Shag Rock

There were little viewing boxes beside the tracks which you could open up and see the wetas tucked into their holes behind perspex and annoy them by letting all the light in.

Tree wetas

The lighthouse on Matiu/Somes Island

The lighthouse on Matiu/Somes Island

Adam found this on the path, we added her (I believe) to the collection of interesting things found by visitors on the window sill of the Whare Kiore, a hut which every visitor to the island stops in on arrival to check there are no unwelcome pests lurking in their bags or on their shoes.

Dead Weta found by Adam on the path

On the ferry on Wellington Harbour

Ferry on Wellington Harbour

This afternoon we caught the Wellington Cable Car up to the top of the Wellington Botanic Gardens.

Wellington Cable Car

And then walked downhill all the way back to the city.

Wellington Botanic Gardens

Mim at Wellington Botanic Gardens

Ow, my knees, my feet, my everything.

We're having a fabulous time and there's still days and days of it to go! 

If, for some strange reason, that wasn't enough photos for you, there are more on my Flickr.


Penny said...

Looks like you've had some great weather too :)

suze2000 said...

I went to the glow-worm caves at Waitomo when I was 14. It was great, but the middle of winter, so a lot less crowded on the tour. Though I suspect the glow-worms may have been less busy because of the cold.

Looks great. Glad you are enjoying it. :)

Ariane said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it. Glad to hear you're having a great time. I love Wellington, have a bevvy for me while you're there. :)

Anonymous said...

i lived in wanganui Mim.... nice to see the pics of the north island!!! good to hear your having an awesome time!!


Sleepydumpling said...

Very envious of the fab holiday you are having. Love the photos.