We came to Akaroa on a recommendation from Kari and Niall, so I was like, BETTER BE WORTH IT. But to start at the beginning, yesterday morning we bid farewell to the North Island and flew in to Christchurch. For reasons clear to Sim, who developed our itinerary, it made more sense to go straight to Akaroa for a night, then return to Christchurch for a stay there.
Wellington ✈ Christchurch 🚘 Akaroa
Well we’re only halfway through the trip, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that having front row seats to see Neil Finn perform at The Opera House with a band (featuring his wife and son) and string section (from the NZSO) is going to be tough to beat as the highlight.
Greetings from windy Wellington! We knew we wanted to come here, but were pretty much completely aimless when it came to any actual plans. Last night though, Sim noticed an interesting poster, so our first stop was a Ticketek office to book some VERY SPECIAL Kiwi entertainment (more tomorrow night!).
Not everything in Napier is Art Deco, however there are some businesses that are really trying to get in on that scene when they probably shouldn’t be. This post celebrates their attempts. The McDeco Award is named after the above puzzling scene we saw on our way out of Napier. Though I guess the golden arches does indeed have the symmetrical geometry and bold colours that so often appear in Deco.
Napier: a city pretty much destroyed by an earthquake in 1931, and then rebuilt in the style of the day, which just happened to be Art Deco. This is definitely the sort of place Miss Marple would be solving murders in. I mean, I’m writing this from the library of our hotel, with two decanters of port dangerously close to me, a saddle to the right of me, and a pump organ to the left. If I play the right notes I fully expect a bookcase to swing open to reveal a secret passage.
The words “Thermal Wonderland” probably conjure different mental images depending on your upbringing. For me, my mind turns first to a fluffy quilt, knitted bed socks, and a glowing fireplace. Other more intrepid individuals might imagine a mountaineering supply store well-stocked with thermal underwear. Few among us, our geologist friends naturally excluded, would be likely to think of the almost literally infernal landscape I witnessed this morning.
So, let’s get this out of the way – yes, Rotorua does not smell pleasant. However it’s actually not as bad as I feared. I think it helps that the weather’s been reasonably good while we’ve been here.
In a hole in the ground there lived a Holly (and Sim). Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Holly (and Sim)-hole, and that means comfort.
Well we’ve just completed our first full day in New Zealand, and we seem to have packed a lot in already.
After landing late afternoon yesterday in Auckland (without replicating the passport incident of 2013) and then promptly driving straight out of Auckland (avoiding the GPS incident of 2013 and listening to Crowded House all the way – didn’t have any Split Enz), we crashed out in Hamilton for the evening.