Tuesday, May 29, 2007

north island holiday!

I got back from my north island trip with ann yesterday, and tomorrow we go off on our south island tour, so here are the edited highlights from our trip. we flew from queenstown to christchurch for our connection and went to the antarctic centre while we waited. this is me and ann in a simulated antarctic storm - very cold & windy! inside the giant chiller room there was also an igloo, snow bike, tent and ice slide on which I got a very chilly bum!

penguin alert - this is a little blue penguin zipping past the aquarium window - they're only 30cm high and all at the centre were disabled in some way - maimed flipper, blind in one eye, or in the case of 'elvis', blind in both eyes... we got to see them being fed and snuggling together in their burrow boxes and being generally very cute.

our connection flew us in to wellington, the capital city at the southern end of the north island. this is the view of the city from botanical gardens on one of the many hills that surrounds wellington - we just took that trolley car to the top.

this is parliament - the round building - known to most here as the beehive. it was great to be around buildings that are old and made of stone after so long in queenstown. however, I did also discover I'm now a small-town-girl and didn't really like the busyness and impersonalness of the city - I like people who make sure they don't walk into you and smile and say 'hi'.

view from breakfast the day we left wellington as we dined at the chocolate fish cafe.

driving north we got to napier - this city was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1929 and a lot was rebuilt in the art deco style. there are some really impressive buildings along the sea front and in the main town, but we got quite frustrated as nearly all had modern signs and solid awnings that took away a lot of the character. making up for that were the palm tress that are everywhere, rising into the sky with poofs of green at the top.

art deco with an art nouveau twist - one of the few unadulterated buildings left in napier!

beautiful sunset on the pacific coast with pohutakawa tree in the foreground - the kiwi christmas tree that's covered in red pompom flowers in december.

and on to rotorua - in the active volcanic zone. we visited a maori thermal village - where food is cooked in boxes over steam vents, veges boiled in the hot springs, baths filled with geothermally heated water and these geysers going off in the background.

this is the champagne lake at wai-o-tapu, south of rotorua - another active zone with bubbling mud pools, sulphur vents, hot lakes, amazing mineral colours and steam rising from the ground.

when we left rotorua it felt like it was time - our taxi didn't arrive to take us to the airport, our coffees were watery and we were made to pay for extra shots, and worse of all we were charged a $5 our-aiport-is-rubbish-and-we-need-to-improve-it-so-we're-making-you-pay-thanks-very-much tax!


Blogger Tk said...


Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:23:00 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home