A Travellerspoint blog

Napier

Art Deco & Ahuriri


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Went on an organised Art Deco tour. Saw a video first, then out on the town. What devastation and tenacity of the local people. We heard some heartwarming stories and sad ones too. I would definitely recommend the tour. You can learn so much more. We found out that the annual festival is to take place this weekend. I only wish we could have been here. It is supposed to be fabulous fun. Everyone dresses up and joins in. It will certainly bring the place alive!!

In the afternoon we walked to the West Quay in Ahuriri area of Napier and back again after a meal. It was about 9 kilometres. We were told that it was too far to walk. But we found it easy, even in the heat. Perhaps we are getting fitter??? 🏃‍♀️

Posted by JanSpencer 21:08 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Leaving Rotorua - travelling to Napier

Monday 11th February 2019


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Left around 9am. On the way stopped at Haku Falls - really worthwhile. Lovely hot and sunny morning.
Drove on to Thermal Wonderland at Wai-O-Tapu (Taupo volcanic zone). Pre booked tickets. Fascinating thermal pools. Huge area. We watched the Geyser Lady Knox erupt. It can carry on erupting for up to an hour. But it only lasted about 10 mins. at most. Was a bit of an anti-climax actually. But saying that, the rest of the Thermal ‘Park’ was wonderful. We spent over an hour walking around and it was fabulous. NOTE OF WARNING for anyone visiting - they do NOT take cash. Even if you want a bottle of water you have to pay by card. Guess who didn’t read the (in my view very small) signs!! A quick sandwich here and moving on.

Stopped at Taupo for a cold drink and a banana split. It was rather larger than expected. I couldn’t eat it all but delicious.

After leaving here the road was at first very straight and boring. Spencer was in danger of falling asleep, so I took over. The journey got more interesting as we twisted and turned through the mountains.

Arrived in Napier and the sun was still shining.

Our apartment at The Quest is one of the best so far. There are only 2 with large balconies looking out over the front (albeit a car park view and houses on a hill beyond) and we are lucky to have one of those. With washing and drying facilities I can get up-to-date with our laundry. Forget the ironing bit!! This was one accommodation that we booked direct.

I even cooked a meal this evening!! This was mainly because we couldn’t find many restaurants open. There are lots of cafes that obviously close late afternoon and lots of shops, also closed by this time.

Posted by JanSpencer 20:41 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Rotorua day 2

Rainbow Springs Park


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Off for breakfast. Lots of lovely places to eat and we chose The Artisan Cafe. It was extremely popular and we just managed to get a table outside. People were waiting for tables to become free. The breakfast was lovely and staff friendly.

Drove to Rainbow Springs Park (a 10min. drive) to see the birds and especially the Kiwi’s. Saw rainbow trout and reptiles etc. Finally got to see a live Kiwi. We saw 3 in different enclosures behind glass. The environment is dark to match their nocturnal behaviour, otherwise we wouldn’t have seen them at all. We also had 2 rides on the Big Splash. It’s a boat that takes you on a waterway then up 2 lifts and round the last corner to the descent. Like a rollercoaster on water. Great fun.

Back to Rotorua for lunch at Brew Craft and Beer pub. It is down what they have named “Eat Street”, which has restaurant after restaurant, all with outside seating. The ambience was great with live music. It was also extremely busy, but I keep forgetting it’s Sunday. I found a lovely quilt, craft shop, but unfortunately it was closed.😢

Posted by JanSpencer 19:21 Comments (0)

Rotorua

Princes Gate Hotel


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Arrived in hot brilliant sunshine and shown to our apartment. We had been upgraded from a room to apartment with cooking facilities. However, I have no intention of cooking!!
The hotel was established in 1897 and certainly has character. It seems very popular with a certain aged clientele. The apartment was lovely and very clean.

The restaurant however needs to have a rethink. Not with the decor but the staff. There was a great mix up with a table for us. One minute we were going in, only to be told the table wasn’t ready. When we did get there eventually, we ordered food which arrived but the drinks didn’t. The food was lovely. We asked for a dessert menu. But no one came to take an order. So we walked out. When I said to a a member of staff about the service, he said they had some ‘newbies’. I don’t think a Saturday night is a good time to try them out!

Decided to go elsewhere for breakfast the next day.

Posted by JanSpencer 19:04 Comments (0)

Leave Paihia to Auckland North then to Hobbiton Village

Just one night to break journey


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Took one last look at Paihia Beach and started drive to Auckland North.
Stopped at Whangarei. Really lovely marina and lots of cafes and little shops. Beautiful weather, so we stopped for a coffee and crepes at The Quay. Really nice restaurant right on the water’s edge.
Moved on and stopped at Waiwera Place Reserve for a comfort break. Started to rain a little.

Arrived at The Spencer on Byron Road in Auckland to brilliant sunshine.

Nice room on the 9th floor. Hotel are doing renovations and staring on 9th floor later this month. Didn’t affect our one night here.

Went for a wander to the beach and then to a bar for a drink. Lots of bars, eateries to chose from.

Came back and decided to go for a swim. Pool and gym on 4th floor.

Thought we would give the hotel restaurant a try for dinner only to be told it had been fully booked by a party of 46. They did however book us a table for a little later but the party came to eat late, which made us even later. One drink on the house, we did eventually eat but at a table in the bar as it was quite noisy. Our food was excellent.

Had breakfast at the hotel - just the continental which was fine, then left to take a leisurely drive to Hobbiton Village. The drive was lovely with lots of scenic views. We arrived early for our tour but couldn’t get on an earlier one as they were fully booked. Lots of people turned up without tickets and were told they were fully booked for the next couple of days.

The Tours were 10 mins apart, then suddenly there was one 5 mins before ours, which might explain why the village was so crowded. I think they put on an extra tour. It was very hot and we were hurried along in certain parts. That said it was a lovely little village and our guide told us some interesting facts about filming etc. I hadn’t realised the village film set was so big. One slightly emotional moment was on the bus that took us to the village, playing the theme music for the film and looking out at the amazing view. The music always gets me.

Posted by JanSpencer 18:21 Comments (0)

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