Saturday, June 30, 2012

Saturday 30th of June 2012

We got up at first light and went to take some early morning photos of the mountain. The sunlight made the snow look pink.

We then headed into New Plymouth for breakfast at Maccas.
We had a quick look at the beach near the port. There is a very old swimming pool built in the 1920's.

Then it was time to pack again and check out of the motel. Back on the road heading South towards Mount Taranaki, we stopped several times for photos.

We drove up to the information centre on the north face of the mountain. There are many different walks you can take from this point, but we only had time for a quick walk up to the monument commemorating the death of AH Ambury who died trying to rescue a climber who fell on the ice at 6300 feet in 1918.

I then took the nature walk back to the cafe. This took about 15 minutes.

The ferns continued to grow despite the snow falls.

This beautiful sculpture hangs inthe information centre.
We then had hot chocolate before heading off South.

This view of the gardens at Hawera where we stopped for lunch.

I have always loved for get me nots. The colour is the most beautiful blue.
We are staying the night at a motel in Wanganui. We found an "English Pub" for tea. While at the pub, my phone stopped working. I rang Telecom and a very patient lady helped me work out that somehow my 3g was switched off. I do not know how I could have managed that, but at least it is sorted now.


Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday 29th June 2012

We packed again and said our goodbyes to Simon and Rachael. Then we hit the motorway and headed south. As the weather was cold and fine we decided to head down to New Plymouth to see Mount Taranaki covered in snow. We stopped at Otorohanga for lunch at Maccas and a quick look at the shops. I found a Buzzy Bee at last.

We then turned off to see the Waitomo Glowworms. The new entrance and restuarant is beautiful.

We then continued towards New Plymouth on some very twisty and winding roads.

This was our first view of the mountain covered in snow. It looks like it is rising out of the sea. We stopped at Mokau for an icecream.

Another view of the mountain from the car window.

Waitara beach watching the sun go down.
We arrived in New Plymouth at about 6.30 and found a room at Aarons motel. After unpacking we headed into town for tea. We tried one place but it was too busy. We finished up at Crowded House which had heaps of TV's featuring different sport. We watched the rugby on the big screen. The chiefs won. The food was great but I forgot to take a photo as I was too hungry.
We headed back to the motel to watch the rest of the match and to prepare for tomorrows leg of the trip.

Location:New Plymouth

28th June 2012

I was woken rather early by Kevin, who had to head off to the hospital for five hours of medical tests. This was part of a research project for a PHD on faetal anaemia. His brother Simon was there also. We stayed at the Dominion Lodge which is run by the Cancer Foundation in NZ.
Rachael, Chris and I headed off to Newmarket for breakfast at "Jones the Grocer". We had eggs benedict while Chris had the full breakfast.

I found some handprinted teatowels for presents at the cafe. They had a wonderful display of mustards, relishes, teas etc.
Rachael and I proceeded to check out the shops in the Newmarket area and then headed back to the hotel to meet the boys after they were finished at the hospital.
In the afternoon we checked out Stokers model shop and the Octane bookshop. The Technical bookshop was next door and I found a book on making movies with you Iphone. Kevin bought some prints of New Zealand racing car drivers to add to his collection.

After a lot of discussion we decided which movies we would see. Rachael and I watched Snow White and the Huntsman while the boys went to see Prometheus in 3D.

After the movies we had an indian curry for tea. It was a long time since we had eaten breakfast.

Location:Auckland, NZ

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

27th June 2012

We packed our bags and eventually left Taupo with hugs and wellwishes. Our first stop was the lookout as it was a beautiful cold morning and there was snow on the mountain range.

We then made a visit to the huka falls which was very fast as usual.

Next stop was Tokaroa for morning coffee and muffins. Then on to Putaruru where we turned off for Tauranga. We were nearly there when we were diverted by a road works. We had to take a very long detour. Finally we arrived at Simon and Rachael's home. Moses was very pleased to see us. After a tour of the house and garden we all set off for the Mount where we had lunch and a photo shoot. Side Track Cafe had great food and it was right on the beach front.

Our route over the Kiamias gives a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.

As we arrived at Waihi Beach we saw this double rainbow.

Waihi Beach after the rain had stopped.

I love the shapes made by the trees in winter.
We eventually arrived at our hotel in the Domain. We walked down to get tea and then walked back. My knees are complaining, but I did not need to resort to a taxi. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Location:Tauranga, Auckland

26th June 2012

I spent the morning sorting out Kevin's computer. I saved quite a few files to the new external drive and then found that the camera cord was missing. Apparently it went home early to Australia in my son's suitcase. Luckily there is still heaps of room on the card so no worries.
The weather had set in, so there was no thoughts of venturing out til later in the afternoon when we went down to post some bits and pieces home.
A very good friend of the family arrived with a brand new flat screen TV and proceeded to install it on some pretext that she needed to try it out. With some help from the boys and a new cord, it worked beautifully. It was a lovely surprise.
After presenting the TV we had a feed of Hoki, chips, hotdogs, scallops and squid rings from the local shop.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

25th June 2012

Monday is traditionally washing day and today was no different. There was some wind today which made it bitterly cold but at least it dried the clothes in between rain showers. Several times during the day Olive and I made the mad dash outside to rescue the clothes as the rain came down.
Kevin and Chris were due back from the rally in Auckland in the afternoon. I messaged them several times and they eventally arrived after doing a spot of Tiki Touring. After a short break we went down town to buy some food for tea at brother Petes house. We also bought a portable drive for Kevin's computer as he had run out of memory and couldn't download the last of his rally photos.
The evening at Peters was lovely. We met some of his new friends and caught up with some we had met on previous visits. Even though it was cold we stayed reasonably warm with a patio heater and a workshop heater. Mind you, I did not take off my coat. As it was work the next day for most, they left early and then we had a coffee inside before heading home to bed.

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

24th June 2012

Today started out looking as if the day would be grey and wet, but we had a spot of sun peeking through and then a rainbow formed in the sky. I went to church with Olive and then she took me out to lunch. I have been to L'Arte before one summer holiday a few years ago now. The studio is now a lovely little cafe. A new studio has been created further up in the garden.

Lunch was really yummy. I had a chicken and mushroom in filo with a great salad.

The gardens dispayed a wonderful collection of sculpture made from metal, wood and ceramics. I loved the colours in this flower.

Location:Sunday, Sunday

Saturday, June 23, 2012

23rd June 2012

It is a grey day today. The sky is overcast and there is hardly a breath of wind. I went for a walk through the area behind the house that had been logged and cleared. The only sign of life was a big fat bumblebee that was feeding on the thistle flowers.

I then found my way along the reserve and down through a gully. This was easier walking and had a collection of interesting plants.
Several trees still held onto their beautiful autumn colour as they were protected from the wind.

I even found some wattle just coming into bloom. It made me feel as if I was in Australia. There were a few eucalypts as well.
On my return to the house, Olive invited me to go with her next door to visit her neighbour. Kathy is a teacher, who works with kids not making progress in a one on one programme. Sadly the programme finishes at the end of the year and she will need to find a new position.
After lunch I spent some time trying to draw blackbirds. They are rather a pesky bird but they have a lovely fat shape. This time I used the Art pack on my Ipad to create my drawing.

Olive and I decided to go down town to get some meat for tea, but the car would not start. It was as dead as a dodo. Luckily we could ring the AA to come and have a look. Hope fully they will not be too long.
The car is now running. I think we must have left a door open which will drain the battery over two days.
I wonder what the rally boys are up to. I hope they ring tonight to give me an update. At least the weather has been on their side.


Friday, June 22, 2012

22nd June 2012

Today was another beautiful day in paradise. The temperature was zero, but the sun was shining. After breakfast I decided to go for a walk with my camera in tow. I headed towards the lake and went through some open gates which led to a empty lot that ended with a huge drop down to the lake.

I took some photos and headed back homewards. On the way I collected a few leaves as I have planned to make some leaf stamps and needed to draw around them form a pattern. I found these strange looking cones on a tree and still have not found out what they are. As the tree was bare, it is hard to use most online tools for plant identification.

When I got home I got out my sketch book and had a go at some drawing and painting. I am so out of practice, I need to do more.
I tried out my macro lens yesterday. As it is winter there are not a lot of plants in bloom. These were taken in the garden.

This Tui was puffed up and showing off to the female nearby. He looked so silly perched up on top of the branch.

Another view of the lake this morning.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

21st June 2012

Another quiet day as the boys are in Auckland at the shake down for the New Zealand Rally. My DH likes to play tricks on his friends and family. Yesterday, his friends played a prank on him. His friends Sam and Tim were going to Darwin for the V8's, and were not coming to NZ for the Rally. Or so they said. Yesterday afternoon, they arrived and gave him a huge surprize. One more down to the friends. Now I wonder what Troy and Carrie are up to. Probably babysitting!!
This afternoon I went shopping with MIL and came home with some warm socks for my ugg boots, as well as two tops and a baby toy.
I had a phone call from DD to say that the hotwater system had burst and she had called the plumber. Now we have a new hotwater system in the unit. The bank account is a lot smaller.

Oball original by Rhino Toys.


20th June 2012

Today was a quiet day. After breakfast the boys packed their suitcases and set off for Auckland and the New Zealand International Rally. Back here in Taupo we did the washing, changed beds and cleaned up. The weather was fine, though not very warm. I spent this afternoon reading and then making a copy of a pattern for a tea-cosy.

This was in the NZ Woman's Weekly, but not in my digital version.

Location:Taupo NZ

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

19th June 2012

Today we headed off for a day in Rotarua. Even though it was raining, we set off at about 9 am. Our first stop was Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. We were in time to watch the Geyser blow and went for a leisurely walk around the different mud pools, craters and steaming fumaroles. The boys did the more difficult section while I headed back to the shop.
After that trip we headed into Rotarua and the Skyline Luge. We managed to dodge the rain showers, except the last trip down, when they got wet on the chair lift ride back.
We did a quick look around the shops trying to find some new hd tapes for Garretts camera. We also tried a few newsagents looking for magazines. Last of all we went to Starbucks for coffee and muffins. It was the worst coffee I have ever had.
We all snoozed as Kevin drove back to Taupo. We went to Prime Roast for tea, which was great value for money.

It is just starting.

Here it is about 4 metres high.

Kevin, Garrett and Chris.

A yellow pool of mud. The yellow is from the sulfur and arsenic in the mud.

This pool was bright green.

A fantail was entertaining me at the end of my walk.

The boys had fun on the luge.