22 Mar & 23 Mar – Days 4 & 5
Day 4 – Friday, March 22: Land Tour starts with welcome dinner at the Rydges Auckland Hotel
We had a wonderful 3 course meal with a couple from Australia, Lorraine and Graham, and a British couple, Deidra and Graham. Both couples are very nice and we had a lovely visit with them. We are enjoying meeting people from all over the world and learning about their lives and their countries.
Day 5 – Saturday, March 23: Leave Auckland to Waitomo to Rotorua
On the coach from Auckland to Rotorua
First coffee or tea stop
Waitomo glowworm caves & boat ride through caves:
Photos are not allowed in the caves. So you’ll just have to come down under to see this. On the way down to the river, we walked through limestone caves covered in stalactites and some of the glowworms could be viewed from this area. Further down was a short boat ride along a river in the caves where there were thousands of glowworms!
New Zealand Maori Arts & Crafts Institute:
Maori Hangi Feast at Te Puia – entertainment and Maori cuisine:
Hotel: Rydges Rotorua
View from our hotel room.
Best lunch place for fish and chips and great music on Eat Street.
Eat Street in downtown Rotorua.
Lake Rotorua (Roto means lake, rua means second) is a very shallow lake. The”island” in the middle is the top of the volcano’s crater.
Tourist Center downtown Rotorua.
Government Gardens downtown Rotorua.
Historic Rotorua Museum in the background.
This is a popular Geothermal area so the sulfur smell is very strong!
Our trip to New Zealand included a stop at Larnach Castle. From the top of the castle you can see for miles, and this shot shows the bay leading to Port Chalmers. The castle has a history that has taken it to the brink of destruction. At the time the current owners purchased the castle, developers were eying the property and intended to demolish it for a residential development. With views like this, is it no wonder they would have wanted to destroy this magnificent piece of history?
More Friday Fotos
On our second day in Auckland we took the Explorer Bus and hopped off at the wharf. From there, we took the ferry to the island of Devonport. The town is built on two volcanoes, both of which can be seen from the town. This photo shows Mt. Victoria, the easternmost of the volcanoes and the Devonport wharf.