When we visited Rotorua…
was Hamurana Lodge,
a nice boutique hotel.
Small fractures in the earth’s crust
allows geothermal steam,
and if the fracture is larger,
volcanic lava to flow,
at regular or irregular times,
into the atmosphere.
Initially my thoughts turned to
Africa for this challenge.
However, a little more thought and
New Zealand it is.
New Zealand is sometimes referred to
as Australia’s seventh state;
and I must confess it is a
home away from home in my opinion.
Now for some random images from our
2018 road trip around a small part
of New Zealand’s North Island.
Near Matamata we spent a couple
of nights at Buckland’s Airbnb.
This window view, from our room,
was enough to keep me happy.
If the view appears too rural for your liking,
there is always accommodation in Matamata itself.
We were there to visit the Hobbit Movie set
which is less than 5 kilometres from
The third of Waitomo’s Cave was Ruakuri Cave.
The only cave where photography
was freely allowed.
To reach the cave floor we had
to negotiate the spiral down.
And there was no magic way of getting
out of the cave without negotiating
the same spiral to ground level.
While in the Ruakuri Cave…
…there are plenty of sights…
…to view or photograph.
Several nights were spent in Taupo,
located on the north-eastern shore
of Lake Taupo.
About 15 minutes out of Taupo is Huka Falls.
Not big in either width or height,
however, big in water throughput.
Taupo also provided an extensive range…
…of flora to photograph during our visit.
Tongariro National Park
where I was able to capture this image of
At Rotorua we spent a night or two at
a Boutique Hotel out of Rotorua.
Using Hamurana Lodge as our base
we were able to visit
Whakarewarewa – Living Maori Village…
…and enjoy lunch cooked in a thermal spring
the traditional Maori way.
We arrived back in Auckland a few days prior
to No 1 Son’s wedding.
Number 2 Son and his wife had been sort
of shadowing us during our road trip.
As Daughter-in-Law celebrated her
birthday the day before we arrived
in Auckland we all met up for
a family celebration.
Dinner in Auckland’s Sky Tower.
New Zealand is a peaceful friendly country
with a wide variety of attractions.
AND it is roughly a two and a half hour
flight from Melbourne.
Compare that with a 14 hour journey
from Sydney to Johannesburg.
Some farewell entertainment at
Sausage Tree Safari Camp…
…near the end of our first
African Safari, 2013.
Dubai fire dancer.
Whakarewarewa Maori Village dancers,
agricultural, agrarian, outdoor, idyllic, unspoiled
I am not sure if Hamurana Lodge fits
the bucolic theme of today.
However it is location on the
outskirts of Rotorua is ideal.
If this scene is not bucolic,
then I am not sure what is.
…the girls in this African Dance Troupe
are clapping their hands.
Both the African and the
New Zealand entertainers had us…
…on our feet dancing along.
All entertainers were warmly applauded
at the conclusion of their performances.
A Leaning Tower at Pisa
Towering Redwoods in Rotorua
Light house towers.
I shall commence with an image
Part of the Californian Redwood Forest
on the outskirts of Rotorua
in New Zealand.
Bicycles in Lille sporting lots of red.
A specimen from the Dahlia Farm
near Geelong in 2018.
Below is an area of The Great Ocean Road,
near The Twelve Apostles,
I don’t recall seeing steps but people who were
on the sand materialised in the car park
in a short space of time.
These steps are near the beginning of
the Orakei Korako Geothermal walk…
1.8 kilometres and nearly 666 steps later
(there was some more around the corner)
we were nearly there.
My knees were protesting and they
screamed even louder when they saw we had
several flights of these stairs to and from our room.
That was the night we were offered a ground floor room.
And took it.