Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 55 Napier, New Zealand

We arrived into Napier, New Zealand around 0700 this morning and the weather was pretty nice. The sail in to the harbor was pretty interesting because of the skillful maneuvering the Captain had to do to get to our berth…. very impressive! My tour to Cape Kidnappers Station left around 0830 and started with a nice drive through Napier along the Marine Parade. The Norfolk pines were very impressive. Our guide, Michael, was great. His family had owned the land out at Cape Kidnappers and he was very knowledgeable about the area. Our drive out to see the gannets was spectacular in itself… lovely scenery, lots of sheep and other birds. It is a very impressive place. The highlight of the day certainly was visiting the gannet colonies. There are 4 out on the Cape and we got very up close and personal on the one high on the cliffs…. Amazing! Loed all the dancing, flying and antics of these very photogeicc birds. To top off a spectacular day we went for sandwiches, cakes and juices at Michaels home out on the Cape. We were served by the wives of some of the guides who did a great job. I included a photo of Cathy & Phillipa, two of the excellent gannet safari team….. It was a great day, thanks to Michael & his team. Tomorrow we will be arriving in Mount Maunganui where the majority of the port facilities for Tauranga, New Zealand are located. I will be taking another private tourwith Indigenous Trails. Here is an overview: On arrival in Tauranga, you will be met by your Indigenous Trails' Guide and board your transport for your 'Cultural Trail' of 'Tauranga Moana' & ' Rotorua'.
Kiwi Fruit Orchard --- Firstly, we stop at a 'Kiwi Fruit Orchard' enroute to Rotorua, where you will learn of one of New Zealand's major export products the "Kiwi Fruit". Located on a unique pocket of land, you will enjoy a "Cart-Ride" through the lush orchards of this establishment and find out why "Kiwi" is regarded as one of the world's "healthiest" fruits.
Arriving in Rotorua, prepare yourself and discover the essence of its people, culture and volcanic landscape. Let us share with you the great stories which have shaped the past and present of "New Zealand's premier visitor destination".
Rotorua Museum --- Your first encounter starts at the ‘Rotorua Museum’. Be thrilled by the museum's high impact ‘Cinema Experience’ – ‘Rotorua Stories'. Visitors are taken on an educational adventure, plummeting 13km into the belly of the earth to learn the ‘scientific’ and ‘mythological’ reasons for Rotorua's volatile landscape. Explore the beautiful ‘Bath House’ building, once known as the ‘Great South Seas Spa’, and unravel Rotorua's history as our fascinating history is unraveled in dynamic exhibitions that capture the imagination of all ages.
The Buried Village --- We travel to the ‘The Buried Village of Te Wairoa’ offers an insight into the devastation and mayhem that transpired on the night of June 10 1886 when ‘Mount Tarawera’ erupted. Te Wairoa Village, in a valley above Lake Tarawera, was established by a Christian missionary in 1848. By the 1870s it had become a busy staging post for travelers to the "Pink and White Terraces". The village's excavated dwellings are connected by a meandering pathway, set amongst trees and meadows beside Te Wairoa Stream. Remnants and artifacts recovered from the rubble help to display life at the settlement before, during and after this monumental event and help portray the villager's stories of both tragedy and survival. Complete the journey with a visit to the 30 meter "Te Wairoa falls" and "native bush walk" before making our way to Whakarewarewa and Lunch.
Whakarewarewa Thermal Village --- This is where family members took survivors of the eruption as they endeavoured to rebuild their lives. With the demise of the ‘Pink and White Terraces’, the ‘Whakarewarewa Village/Reserve’ became a showcase for the geothermal wonders of the district, and now ‘Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao’ are the guardians of Whakarewarewa's spectacular geothermal activity – ‘Pohutu’ and ‘Prince of Wales Geysers’, pools of boiling water and bubbling mud. The village is a living village where geothermal resources are still used for cooking, bathing, washing and processing the flax plant. Be entertained in 'song' and 'dance', as your hosts showcase their culture for you to enjoy. Under the watchful eye of the ‘Whare Tupuna’ (ancestral house), Tuhourangi/Ngati Wahiao have adapted to this unique way of life as they once did at the Pink and White Terraces.Before leaving Rotorua, we take time out to see the "City Sights" of this famous and iconic destination of New Zealand.


whitey said...

Hey Jeff tomorrows tour sounds very interesting.
Will be interested in reading results of the tour.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photography

Margie M

Anonymous said...

The two gannets crossing beaks with the one looking through- fantastic!
Great pictures, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jeff:
Today's pictures remind me of one of my favorite things....New Zealand rack of lamb. Great Photos!