Land of the Long White Cloud and the Kind Politician
Our first time visiting New Zealand! We really need to get out more :D
Well….we’ve been giving it a crack lately; visiting a few of those places you say; ‘I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet’.
We went to New Zealand’s North Island for starters. One island at a time – to do them justice.
After a quick jaunt in lovely Auckland, we went north to the Bay of Islands where we stayed at the Duke of Marlborough, oldest hotel in NZ and possibly the best pub you’ve been to. It’s big old pretty white weatherboard right on the waterfront, filled with historical artefacts and with incredible water views. The whole area is the historical birthplace of NZ and signing of the treaty, and apart from that, geographically beautiful. The Bay has lots of cheeky dolphins. Sadly the day we were there we couldn’t do the dolphin swim tour, but we did see a pod of them on the boat tour we took.
Next up was the Coromandel peninsula which is just a gob-smackingly lovely coastline. NZ is very different from Australia in its terrain and flora; different land formations, mountain shapes. Everything is green and gentle-looking to our Aussie eyes – used to our harsh land.
Rotorua was amazing, with seemingly the bowels of the earth coming up and out at you. The whole country is tectonic and feels on the brink of volcano/earthquake/tsunami!
There is magic there though in Rotorua – we had an outdoor spa overlooking the lake, and I believe those mystical waters healed my sore knee there and then.
Napier on the south eat coast was next – what an amazing town. It was flattened by earthquake in 1931, and almost the whole town was rebuilt in Art Deco style. It’s just a perfect little Art Deco time capsule – we were entranced by it. The eating and drinking there and in the Hawkes Bay surrounds was fabulous too.
Lastly we spent two days in beautiful Wellington. It felt like a cross between San Francisco and Hobart to us! Throw in the groovy bars and restaurants and it has a Melbourne vibe too. Next time we will start in Wellington and journey across to the South Island from there. Thank you lovely NZ – Land of the Long White Cloud, the laid-back people and the kind politician. We’ll be back!