Saturday, April 08, 2006

Day 303 - Te Kuiti, New Zealand

Day 303 – 7th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60537

Everyone checked out of the hostel except Jill and I so we had the place to ourselves for the morning. We decided to visit Waitomo which is famous for the glow worm caves. When we arrived we took a look at the different tours and packages but they were so expensive we decided not to do a tour of the caves. We did decide to have a wander around the Museum which explained the formation of the caves in the area and the lifecycles of the glow worms. We then drove back to Te Kuiti and had a walk around the town.

Sheep Shearing Capital of The World

The town is the shearing capital of the world and they have a 50ft statue of a man shearing a sheep at one end of the town.

Giant Sheep Shearing Statue

We took a look at this then had a walk around the Japanese gardens and then walked passed the shops and looked at the war memorial.

Japanese Gardens

Maori Statue

We then drove back up to hills where the hostel is located.

The Hostels Dog

The weather turned bad and it started to pour with rain, so we sat and watched TV for the night. The rain got worse and the thunder started, so a quiet night for us.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Day 302 - Opitiki - Te Kuiti, New Zealand

Day 302 – 6th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60501

Woke up to a glorious sunny day, blue skies as far as the eye can see. So made a cup of tea and took it with me as I walked along the beach. The beach is completely deserted so thought I’d have a paddle, the water was surprisingly warm. In the distance you can see White Island which is an active Volcano some 48 km of the coast. When I got back to the beach house I packed up my things and we got on the road heading West on Highway 30.

Us leaving the Beach House

We stopped at Rotorua for lunch and did some food shopping. Then carried on driving until we reached Te Kuiti. We found the Hostel which is two wooden cabins which are all self contained. We had a nice double room and views are spectacular. The hostel has a huge video collection, so Jill decided to relax and watch a film while I read a book. The hostel filled up throughout the evening and we sat around watching Television and chatting.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Day 301 - Opitiki, New Zealand

Day 301 – 5th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60395

Spent the morning having a long walk along the beach. The hostel is situated on a six mile beach of glorious sand.

The beach

We walked up to some totem poles which were at the entrance to Opotiki originally but had to be moved due to corrosion.

The Opotiki Totem Poles

Me on the Beach

We then sat on the decking and has some lunch then drove out to Whakatane where we walked along the water front and then around the shops.

Me having Lunch on the Decking

Me at Waterfront in Whakatane

We then drove back stopping at Ohope where we parked by the beach and went for a walk.

Me with view of Ohope Peninsula

Jill on Ohope Beach

We then went out to the peninsula and had a look at the view. We arrived back at the hostel and only 2 other guests where there so spent the night chatting and playing cards with them.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Day 300 - Opitiki, New Zealand

Day 300 – 4th April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60337

Spent the day doing nothing, the weather kept changing from sunny to overcast so sat around and read and relaxed. Did all my washing and in the afternoon several other people arrived at the hostel so we sat around and chatted and then watched some programs on the laptop.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Day 299 - Hicks Bay - Opitiki, New Zealand

Day 299 – 3rd April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60337

Got up at 6am and walked onto the rocks by the beach and watched the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean.



Then we went back to bed got up again at 8:30am and packed up our stuff.

Mel's Place

Our Caravan

Hicks Bay

Joe gave us a gallon of petrol in case we ran out between here and the petrol station. We drove back to Te Araroa and filled up with petrol, then drove out to East Cape which has the most eastern lighthouse on it.

Me at the East Cape Lighthouse

We parked at lighthouse and climbed the 742 steps up to the top, the views are spectacular.

East Island

Me at Most Eastern Lighthouse in the World

View From Lighthouse

View From Lighthouse

Unfortunately we were being eaten alive by bugs, we climbed back down and drove back to Hicks Bay along the horrific gravel road that had had several landslides across it from yesterdays rain.

A Lamb by the Car

A Cow in the Road

We came across a large cow who refused to get out of our way on the way back. We stopped just before hicks bay for ice-cream and scones. We then returned the petrol canister which we had not used and drove along the coast north on highway 35 heading for Opotiki. We stopped several times on the way to take photos of the spectacular scenery and once as a hawk was eating some road kill and did not bother to move as we drove up to it. We saw a historic church which is always used in the advertising of the Bay of Plenty and East Cape.

Historic Church

We eventually arrived at Opotiki and did some food shopping. The checked into the beach hostel. The Hostel is fab and Jill and I are the only one’s here, it is on the each and has huge wooden decking a big living area.

Our Room on the Right

View from our room

We had a walk on the beach and spent the rest of the evening reading.


Monday, April 03, 2006

Day 298 - Morere - Hicks Bay, New Zealand

Day 298 – 2nd April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60195

Woke up at 3:30am so sat in the living room and read my book until 5:30am gave me time to write in the guest book. Went back to bed and work up at 8:30am. We packed our bags said our goodbyes and got back on the road still heading North on the Highway 2. After an hour we reached Gisborne which is the furthest city East in the world and the first city to celebrate the new year as it is the first city the sun rises on. We stopped at Gisborne for some breakfast and then carried on up to the East Cape. We were almost out of petrol so stopped at Te Araroa but the petrol pump was closed apparently we missed him by five minutes, it’s only 1:45pm. Jill was very worried but we carried on to Hick’s Bay where we saw a petrol sign so stopped to fill up and was told they had no petrol and it would be dry for the next 2 months. We checked into an Independent Travellers place. The owner is a Maori called Joe, it is an eco friendly place with self generated electricity, outdoor toilets and showers which are gas cylinder heated. The view is spectacular as it is all alone on a small bay facing East. Jill and I were in a Caravan practically on the beach, the caravan had it’s own cooking area and sink so all self contained. The weather was horrendous and the rain was pouring so we just spent the night in the caravan playing cards reading and watching a film.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Day 297 - Morere, New Zealand

Day 297 – 1st April 2006 +11:00 GMT Total Miles 60045

Could not sleep so got up at 6am had some tea and spent an hour reading all the comments in the guest book. Finally went back to bed and slept for about 2 hours. Made myself some coffee and had a walk around the farm. Socks the dog followed me everywhere and when I got down to the river I was shocked to see almost all the water gone and a concrete roadway across the river.

The River

Our Farm House

Well the sun is shining and it is a lovely day. We drove out to the Mahia Peninsula and stopping along the way to admire the black sand beaches.

Black Sand Beach

We drove around the peninsula and then had a walk along Mahia Beach. We decided to have a beer and some found at the local pub/restaurant/bookies. We then drove back to Moonlight Lodge and walked over the road to the famous Hot Springs. We paid our $5 and walked up to the top set of Hot Springs, here they had 3 pools, one freezing, one hot and one very hot (44 C). After an hour or so of soaking we walked to the second set of pools, here they have an outdoor unheated swimming pool and then a large indoor hot pool.

Me at The Morere Hot Springs

Morere Hot Springs

We left the Hot Springs and walked back to Moonlight Lodge stopping on the way to buy some Marshmallows. I then cooked some food and lit the fire and we sat toasting the Marshmallows and playing Trivial Pursuits. We were joined for a couple of hours by Keiko who works for the owners of the lodge and we chatted and shared travel stories.
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