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New Zealand 2010 summer

Paeroa RV Centre

Another New Zealand summer began for us on 12th November 2010 when we arrived at Paeroa to collect our 'van.  Yet again, everything had been prepared for us very efficiently, with a smile and a warm "Welcome Home" 

Here's the yard at the RV Centre, the big green shed at the back there is the winter storage shed.  That's us, the white one on the left.

We began with a visit to our friends Andrew and Tracy in Hamilton   who did a great job on our upholstery last year.  We wanted a couple more cushions.  We just had time to pop over to Raglan for a couple of nights before they were ready for collection.

 The sun was out and the surf was good so the town was fairly quiet. 

That's the way it is in Raglan. 

If the surfs up, the town is closed. 

Note the shadow in the pic on the right




After collecting our cushions we crossed over to the eastern side for a stop at Ray's Rest.     So far, it hasn't changed at all.     We love it even if the water is muddy.


Fish and chips from Kaiaua were as delicious as ever and NZ$10 (£5) for a good feed

On our way to Auckland we had time for a visit to the Botanic Gardens


(Above) Cannas, a big protea, and an unknown succulent, (Below) an Erythrina caffra tree and flowers on an unknown tree!  I'll fill in the names if/when I learn them (The last one was actually taken at Paeroa )

Erythrina caffra tree flowers      

A windy afternoon at Gulf Harbour, the local youth are not perturbed and a floating jetty makes for great, harmless fun


Sullivan's Bay.  Tuesday seems to be volunteering day the world over.  (These pics are especially for our great friends, the volunteers at the Plantation Garden  in Norwich)


Note: they are taking out the succulents and planting grass!  Below; this is why we enjoy it here.

Sullivan's Bay

This park is one of 26 run by Auckland City Council.  They are all kept beautifully and the public are allowed to stay for a small fee.

We spent a few nights at Mangawhai where friends/family have a section (piece of land)  We bought a couple of golf clubs and some balls at the local charity shop.  It was a bit rough for playing but we had some fun.  We wouldn't want to be looking for the balls in the UK right now though ...


On our way north we paused at the Marsden Point visitor centre.  That's a surprise.  It is at the only oil refinery in New Zealand and very interesting.  This fabulous model is accurate down to the last light bulb.  A presentation shows how 1 litre of crude oil is processed into petrol, diesel, aviation fuel, bitumen and sulphur.  It's so well done that even if you weren't interested before you went in, you would be by the time you come out.

Marsden Point model    Marsden Point model 2

A coffee stop at Uretiti, another great beach and more flowers.  Wild ones this time


A calm night at Manganese Point (below)  Yes, that's right, not a breath of wind.  Very unusual.  The parakeets were there as usual.  So sweet.

Manganese Point    

I apologise if you're not a gardener, but here's another!  This time the Quarry Garden in Whangarei   Run by volunteers in much the same way as our beloved Plantation Garden in Norwich.  The quail was at the garden too.  They have a head plume just like a fascinator.



The perfume from the jasmine bank is fabulous, they have their own real waterfall (middle, above) and I love that pink grass with the Aeoniums. 

Kerikeri:  A new POP discovery, new friends and the waterfall is literally just behind the trees.

KerikeriPOP   Kerikeri waterfall

2nd December 2010: 2 minutes silence and a memorial service to honour the 29 miners lost at Pike River coal mine on November 19th.


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