Well only a few more entries for this trip and then we are back in Christchurch.
I find that my enthusiasm for NZ has grown and our desire to spend more spare time (what's that?) travelling within the islands is at the very top of our 'bucket' list.Amazing how many miles we have to travel before we discover our own backyard.
The Coromandel Peninsula has the most amazing view around every corner ...and believe me there are many of them.The road is good and stopping points plentiful - thank God for digital photography - Kodak must have made a fortune out of this area.
It is quite a drive but we managed it in one day and that included exploration stops and photo stops around 300k and upto 5 hours driving.
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We left Whitianga mid morning and arrived in Rotorua late afternoon - having meandered through farmland and towns servicing every sector of our agricultural economy.
Around Cambridge (which is a gem of a town - gorgeous autumn colour), we are in horse breeding country - doubt there are many poor farmers here.Bloodstock sales here are legendary and success of the animals in every aspect of horse sport has been well covered - google can match my information with millions of hits so I will leave it to them.
The drive between Cambridge and Rotorua is leisurely and by this stage you may be getting bored by superlatives and beauty but it is all true.This coupled with the fact that the population is sparse makes the country a joy to travel through - even at the height of the tourist season.
But one little surprise on the journey into Rotorua is Fitzgerald Glade - out of the blue you journey through this small glade of lush greenery sweeping down to the road - do not blink or you will miss it - but all my life and many trips to Rotorua I have been stunned by this gem of nature - I'm sure you will too.
No .... I am not going to include a photo - it is best experienced first hand.
And so on to Rotorua - the heart and soul of NZ's thermal wonderland ...where the earth bubbles up to meet the sky.Once again I will leave the numerous websites to 'sell' the destination - I can add nothing - a visit here is a unique experience and it is worth a day or two to explore the delight....we were there for 3 days ...mainly at a conference ...but it was great to catch up with the people and the city ...Len is very familiar with it as he completed his High School years there...so some questions may go unanswered!
Where did we stay in Rotorua - well at the Regent of Rotorua - more motel than hotel but newly refurbished, good facilities and wifi.
Our accommodation of choice though would have been Nicara Lodge Lakeside Lodge , a little way from the center of town and on the shores of Lake Rotorua. I am familiar with this fabulous B&B - the founder member of 5 Star Accommodation - a marketing group of Qualmark 5 star properties throughout NZ. We also consider Heather and Mike to be friends as well as collegues and the service they offer would make Rotorua so much more than a destination - staying at Nicara would make the destination shine.
Next stop... New Plymouth