What a ride! As you’re climbing up the mountain to Skyline Queenstown, there are times when it looks like you’re heading straight into the side of the mountain. Those of us with our backs to the mountain were treated to a gorgeous view of the lake and valley, but the ones facing the mountain had a couple of minor panic attacks.
One of the highlights of our trip to New Zealand was the overnight stay with a couple on their farm in Rotorua. Not only were they delightful hosts, but their home in the country was absolutely gorgeous—as was the sunset we saw that night. Can you imagine enjoying this New Zealand sunset every night from your living room?
More photos from Rotorua, New Zealand
Huka Falls near Lake Taupo in New Zealand is nothing less than impressive. Located approximately in the middle of the north island, the falls are on the Waikato River. Roughly 200,000 liters of ice-blue water flow through this point every second—that’s more than 50,000 gallons every second. The falls create a huge undertow, which has taken under boats that got too close. We were happy to watch from the sidelines and marvel at the sheer power of Huka Falls.
Want to see more photos from trip? Here’s a link where you can find all the entries in our travel journal.
More photos from New Zealand
Architecturally, New Zealand’s Larnach Castle is a Gothic Revival mansion. It was built in 1871 by William Larnach using materials from around the world. It’s one of the largest mansions in New Zealand and has quite the history. That history began when William Larnach committed suicide in the New Zealand Parliament Buildings in 1898. After years of legal battles within the family, the ‘castle’ was sold in 1906. For the next sixty years, the castle was neglected and went through several different owners until 1967, when it was purchased by Barry and Margaret Barker. Thank goodness for the Barkers because otherwise the now stately mansion would have been leveled by developers for housing.
More photos from Larnach Castle
For our last night in Waikiki, we decided to take a walk to Ala Moana Park from our condo and check out the Waikiki lights. To our surprise, the walk to Ala Moana Park and even Ala Moana Mall, was an easy one. The park is a vast green space on a peninsula that sports plenty of activities. We caught the outrigger canoe club coming in. Watching the crew members jump off the canoe into the water when it was time to take the canoe out of the water gave us a momentary chill, but then we remembered this was Waikiki and Hawai‘i where the water is about ten degrees warmer than in San Diego.
Even though it was dark, there were still plenty of people enjoying the evening. Even some of the tour busses come here to park for the night. They’re done for the day and the parking lot is gigantic, so there’s plenty of space to line them up. And then there were the Waikiki lights as a backdrop. All those skyscrapers lining the water create for a beautiful display of lights.
More photos from Honolulu
While on our way to visit the Iao Valley on Maui, we stopped at Kepaniwai Park and Heritage Center. I’ve shown photos of this impressive park before, which is dedicated to ethnic groups who helped to settle and develop Maui.