John and Cynthia:  Knotperfect

New Zealand: 2022-2023
Page 2

Below, this is our overnight secret parking spot.  Yes, it is a car park, it's free!  And the views .....

Secret parking spot  

Yes, that's a marina behind us, those bays are full of these.

Auckland is hilly, here's a Pokemon map photo I got while Matt was driving. 

The road runs along the top of a hill and all the side roads are short and steep, and packed with houses now.  When we first came here, there was lots of vacant space, that is no longer.  Even some of the older properties that had large gardens are being bought, demolished and rebuilt with several per section (the local term for a piece of land), even blocks of flats.
A few pics from Hamilton

The new Ancient Egyptian space within the Hamilton Garden

the planting isn't really established yet but the paintwork is impressive, don't you think?

and, elsewhere, the Saucy Sue is still flying ...

Below, a few pics from Hamilton and Cambridge

Hamilton Lake bird feeder

John in Cambridge

Mare and Foal in Cambridge

Church in Cambridge

We stayed at the Racecourse in Cambridge, it rocked a bit but the epicentre was about 30 k away

Then, it was on to Rotorua

The Government Gardens are beautifully stocked and kept picture perfect.  Amazingly, the haze in the centre of this pic is steam from the Rachel spring.  It emerges at 212F / 100C.  It's a strange place!

Rachel Spring


This used to be a good freedom camping spot but got ruined by a few b******.  The old Lakeland Queen was withdrawn from service due to Covid and is, I understand, up for sale.  I think I heard $70,000 mentioned but don't quote me.  We withdrew to the excellent NZMCA park at Ngongotaha.  Next, we headed to Opotiki, taking a break at Waiotahe Beach Pokémon gym site.  

"Te Ara Ki Te Rawhiti"  The Pathway to the Sunrise, these pouwhenua or pou (carved pillars) stand side by side beside the beach at Waiotahi, on the coast road to Opotiki, facing the direction of the first sunrise of the world's new day.


but we also think he has been collecting Magikarp, I think he's got all the big ones.

While in Opotiki, just along the coast from the pou, a cyclone hit New Zealand.  We had planned to cross the peninsular to Gisborne the next day but delayed for 4 days while it passed.  We were extremely lucky, the storm kind of missed us but hit Gisborne and settlements north of there badly.  We did cross over as soon as the roads seemed to be safe.  Apart from some local flooding, Gisborne seemed relatively unscathed.  It continued to rain but we had a few breaks to walk the town, it's very good for Pokémon there.

Gisborne main street

Super fish and chips at Ocean Seafood.  Amazing batter and an introduction to Kiwi special dressing on the scrummy salad.  It's a mix of sweetened condensed milk and vinegar and I suspect a little water or lemon juice or more vinegar than I used.  Mine was a bit thick when I tried to copy it using just the condensed milk and vinegar.

South to Napier, the weather not good there either but we did have a really good lunch at Clearview Winery.  Not cheap but well recommended by us.

We abandoned the east!  Inland to Taupo where, at last, we found a little sunshine.  Good for Pokemon too and we made some new friends during Community Day in the park.

Big Fish at Taupo

This big fish has a special memory for me

The Huka Falls, WOW, as ever. 

Upper Huka 

Upriver on the left, downriver on the right.  Both pics taken from the bridge.

These are no substitute for seeing and hearing the real thing.  It's a 'must do'.

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