Thursday, January 26, 2012

Holiday 2012 part one.....

This year we had thought of a holiday in Australia, but got round to thinking that really we should show the kids more of  NZ first, so the planning started John booked the ferry for a crossing, we asked to use M and Ds  campervan, and waited for the dates to roll around. We took off on the 10th of January finding ourselves spending our first night at Parnassus due to a little fuel mis- calculation towards the end of the day...or was it a faulty fuel gauge...don't know bit of both I think...anyway made us think about the right amount of fuel and the distances we had to travel, for the rest of the trip.Next morning we travelled up to Oaro and had a morning tea stop at our dear friends Deana and co. Then off to Picton slowly as how can you not stop and look for beach treasures up the Kaikoura coast line. A spot of hand line fishing in Picton and  a swim for Zoe and on the scooters at a skate park in the evening for the kids then a very excited sleep for the kids with a very early start to catch the ferry...Up at 5:30 to go to the ferry terminal... kids loved the sailing and we were lucky to have a smooth crossing, from Wellington we headed up to Napier knowing that we would spend some time in Wellington on the way back.... great 2nd hand shops on the drive  up toNapier especially Woodville where every 2nd shop was a 2nd hand shop!  Napier is a beautiful town, the drive up to Napier was a long one but knowing the time we had on our holiday we knew that some of the days we would have to drive quite a distance in order to have a couple of cruisier days.We stayed in a motor camp just out of the town went for a walk on the beach then settled in for a warm night in the camper... had to have the air con going a fair bit as the temperature  doesn't seen to drop as low in the evenings as the South Island. Woke up and it was Zacs 8th birthday... did the pressies then Zoe set to and made a birthday cake... we had morning tea then headed into Napier to take Zac to miniature train world which he loved and would have stayed at all day... but we had to move on,  went out to a nice cafe for a bite to eat thentook the kids for a swim at the lovely pools on the waterfront...we took off again just after lunch and started the drive up the east coast to Gisborne, stopped at the beautiful Morere natural hot pools for the kids and John to have a soak.Stayed in Gisborne for the night, had Zacs birthday BBQ tea.Considered driving around the cape but felt we didn't have enough time to see it all and decided to take a more inland route. John took us to the RERE rockslide( a natural 60 metre waterslide out the back of Gisborne. John had a tyre inner tube to  go down on it which created much hilarilty for all of us... he liked it but would have preferred a boogy board.Drive through a back road and into the stunning Waioeka gorge travelling towards Opotiki. Pulled up at a domain and watched a large group of Maori kids barrel racing on their horses and ponies... what a laugh some of them must have been riding from a young age... no fear no helmets, gumboots and no pony club rules!

Stayed at a park over property over night looking out over white island, very windy but a well set up site.In the morning we travelled on towards Mt Manganui, stopping along the way at Ohope beach to collet more treasure, stopped for lunch at Matata Beach, had a relax on the beach at the mount rather windy and rough sea so kids only had a paddle, stayed overnight at another park over property in a kiwifruit orchard, interesting to learn about the humble kiwifruit and the growing process and elimination process it goes through before we get to buy them! Drove from Te puke to Rotorua set up in a camp ground before lunch, lots to see and do here. First we cooked corn in the thermal steam oven then had a swim in the thermal hot pools provided at the camp, after lunch we went to the lake front and dug a hole and found steaming hot water which we had allot of fun doing, the kids were amazed and so were we.Then in the afternoon we walked into town to have a look around and get tea ingredients which we took back and cooked in the steam oven...mmmm lamb roast and veges and even cooked a steam pudding. Yum scrum and what a nice way to cook...another hot pools swim after tea and then off to bed.In the morning we were booked into Te Puia a thermal and Maori cultural cente for a guided tour of the thermal wonderland that Rotorua has to offer...AMAZING, bubbling hot mud, steaming geysers and a fantastic tour guide who explained things so well and better than I could to the kids so that they would understand Next day we drove to taupo, But before doing so John took us on the Luge much to my disgust, but we all had a blast, We had a look at the Huka falls on the way. Stayed 2 nights at Johns old skydiving mate Dans house with his wife Deb and kids Chris and Hannah. they had cooked a nice dinner for us. next day Hannah (12) was our tour guide.

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