2014 - 2015

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We had a good meal at the White Swan in Greytown.  The building has quite a history, the full story is here , the short version is that in 2002 the building was moved and part of it fell off the lorry.  It was of course rescued and this bit is now part of the main bar.



Below; Awaiti Gardens at Carterton, and a cormorant trying to look like a penguin in Masterton, and ...

  

the iconic corn field view at Carterton (everyone snaps that) and the Dragon's Backbone, that's my name for the skyline at Kairakau,  it's dull because it was raining, well, there were nearly joined up spots.  I don't actually remember getting wet.

   

Hawkes Bay again, Elephant Hill Winery below; I still haven't quite got to grips with the new camera so need to return for another meal to try again.  The food was exceptional and the service good and friendly.  We shall certainly return.  The dish below was beetroot with feta and honey roasted seeds.  That's hokey pokey on the top too.  (should have used flash)  We had that with our main course duck which the camera refused to focus on, nothing to do with operator error of course.



   

I did use flash on these barrels on a very bright sunny day.  It was 32C by the way. (February 2015)

After our meal we simply crossed the road and free camped on the beach.  Our nearest neighbour lives in this bus which is pretty indicative of the Kiwi psyche ...



Note; the name of the bus is Psin Abt.  That must mean Passing Albert but I could be wrong??
I suspect that one of the headlights may not work too well  so isn't that clever to use a couple of solar lights.  Why didn't we think of that?

On the way from Napier to Taupo there is a very nice coffee stop.  Don't miss it if you are travelling that way and get out of your car!  We saw one car full of tourists who drove up, did a u-ey and left.  This is what they missed ...

That's the Waipunga Falls.

Our friends Grant and Smillie are having a new house built near Taupo.  This one isn't theirs but this is how houses are built here ...

How on earth do they work out where to put each piece?

Everyone in New Zealand seems to be crazy about fishing, maybe this is why?  These caught from the secret location at Sulphur Point opposite Mount Manganui.  It was before breakfast though.
      

On to Pauanui on the Coromandel peninsula.  Below, this freedom camping spot has just been made available and, I am sure, will be hugely popular once people discover it.  There was a wedding on the beach, they had a flypast as entertainment.  We enjoyed all of that!
Pauanui Feb 2015  

   
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At Orewa we checked in to the local campground.  Unusual for us as we hate campgrounds.  This one is acceptable; it's right on the beach and has a very good laundry and other facilities.  $40 (£20) a night though.  You may remember that on page 2 there was a pic of windsurfers on a very grey day?  Well, below left, this is the same beach on a sunny, windless Sunday morning.  These guys are paddleboarding and are enjoying lots of gentle waves to surf.  A little later, the wind got up a bit and we thought that there was a lifesaving exercise on the beach.  It turned out to be the real thing.  One of the paddlers lost conciousness after being whacked by his board.  The response was amazing, see the pics below.  He emerged, coughing well but sitting up in the rescue vehicle.  Not in view in the pics were 2 surf lifesaving jeeps and a paramedic as well as the 2 ambulances and a fire engine.  All these pics were taken from the campground.

Orewa February 2015  

   Orewa Top 10 campground

   Little Diggers

John can't resist the birds and I couldn't help but buy these Little Diggers.  What great marketing, the spuds were good too.
Below; If you look closely at the boat you will see that this is a school trip!  They've been to the offshore bird reserve for the day, one could reiterate the brand of the potatoes??  I didn't quite hug my favourite tree but here is yet another photo of it, I think there is probably one pic of it every year.  Find it at Shakespear Park.

  

This year I have also been studying birds' feet!  The pukekus use theirs to hold their food, very dextrous ...

    

but the seagulls look as though they have no idea where those suddenly came from.  Let's face it, they weren't there when they were flying, or when they were floating on the sea.  Once they have landed they spot these strange things and don't quite know what they are.  I offer you all a project to watch the seagulls and see how many you can see that suddenly see their feet with a look of surprise!

     

  

And finally, a lovely scene at Tuapiro which is a very horsey area and a delightful secret spot!



2014 - 2015

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