GRAND PACIFIC TOURS
HPP TOUR to NEW ZEALAND - March 13th - April 1st 2017
Installment #2 of 4
Auckland to Wellington via Rotorua and Napier
After leaving Auckland we headed to Rotorua via Longlands farm for a home-cooked lunch (such beautiful gardens full of huge, beautiful Hydrangeas of all colours) and Hobbiton the area where Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies were filmed. Totally amazing, the New Zealand landscape is stun-ning and this area was so beautiful. After our guided tour we all enjoyed a beverage at the Green Dragon.
Rotorua stinks! but still an amazing place. We had a buffet breakfast at the Skyline Gon-dola and afterwards those that were a child at heart sped down the luge track, back up by chairlift and down again and again. The Agrodome was our next point of interest and we learned amongst other things, that they farm 16 different varieties of sheep in New Zea-land. Margaret Favelle showed us how to milk a cow and we discovered that some other tourists are just a little pushy!!!
Back in Rotorua some of us did a City and lake tour aboard an Amphibious WW11 Landing Craft. We cruised Lake Tikitapu and Lake Okareka our driver trying to thrill
doing burnouts. During the tour we were encouraged to blow ‘Duck Whistles’ at other tourists and locals to see their reactions. At Te Puia we saw boiling mud pools -
awesome mud pools bubbling like they are alive/cooking. We also took part in a Hangi, (Maori Concert) and we entertained our host with an outstanding rendition of Celia Black's "I Can Sing A Rainbow". Men were selected to go on stage and perform the Hakka, several women were invited on stage to learn some Maori dancing. A great night!
Scenery was amazing as we travelled the Thermal Explorer via Huka Falls, Lake Taupo. Lunch was at Napier an "Art Deco" town with amazing buildings.
We had a leisurely start next morning, some visited The Vintage Aviator Museum, while
others the gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park. More amazing landscapes as we travelled the Rimutaka
Mountain Range towards Wellington. At dinner that night we farewelled the few who were not travelling to the South Island with us.
Before departing Wellington we viewed the Gallipoli Exhibition at Te Papa. Peter Jackson helped finance and was involved in the making of triple life size models of New Zealand men and women who served in World War 1. We could see sweat glistening on their brows, tears rolling down their cheeks, muscles rippling and veins protruding. Some left with tears at the emotion of this exhibition and others like me had goose bumps as it was so real. We boarded the Inter Islander Ferry later that day to cross Cook Strait to the South Island.
Maureen and Robert Stone invented a new clothes dryer by attaching circular clothes airers to the ceiling fan and turning it on. Video is now on Grand Pacific’s facebook page. (How very creative)
Two more instalments folk
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