Month: January 2011

  • Birthdays, Penguins, and the Locale in New Zealand (sun/mon)

    Sunday ended up being a day around the house. While Blaise’s birthday was Jan 1, most of her friends were on holiday (vacation) so she planned her party for today. She and her mother spent the afternoon preparing finger foods for the party while i ran up the road for beef low mein. The prep […]

  • The Dark Side of Rafting in New Zealand (fri/sat)

    Friday: Drove out of Rotorua and headed to Huku Falls on the outskirts of Taupo. These falls are insane; the amount of water that channels through, the color of the water and the strength of the rapids will surprise anyone. Continued on to Taupo / Lake Taupo and spent the day with friends of Blaise. […]

  • thermal animals on luges in New Zealand (thu)

    Started the day with a quick drive to the Waiotapu Geothermal Wonderland. A privately owned park covering quite a bit of land covered in thermal pools, a geyser and more. The park started out pretty tame, with some craters that formed due to thermal activity and water. The big body of water, Champagne Lake is […]

  • small flightless birds in New Zealand (wed)

    Drove ~ 3 hours from Auckland to Rotarua for the first of a couple days. A relatively small town, but quite a bit to do here. On the way, stopped in Matamata for lunch and a few shops, but did not stop for Hobbiton. While the Shire is apparently mostly intact, it is apparently ass […]

  • Observations, Slang and Facts in New Zealand (tue)

    Taking the day off from vacation. Doing laundry, catching up on e-mail, cursing the poor connectivity between here and some web sites. Picked up the last book in the Hunter Games trilogy, started reading that. Finished the night with pizza (see below) and a sampling of New Zealand dark beers. Some Kiwi’isms that I have […]

  • Arts, Crafts, Food and Travel in New Zealand (mon)

    Started the day with breakfast at a cafe in Akaroa and then checked out more craft shops that had closed before we could visit them last night. Found several great items. On the way out, we stopped at Barry Bay’s, a neat cheese shop where they make their own. Picked up some crackers and venison […]

  • Road Trip New Zealand (sun)

    Woke up to warm sunny weather with plans to head up to Akaroa, an hour outside of Christchurch, to swim with the dolphins. An hour on the road and we canceled those plans as the weather turned cold and we began driving in and out of rain showers. Instead, we took the long drive as […]

  • From Lake to Lake in New Zealand (sat)

    Woke up and headed to the waterfront for our Jet boating trip. Turned out the Saturday art market was set up along the waterfront. Picked up a couple of colorful paintings of a kiwi from a local artist. Jet boating is like jet skiing, but a bigger boat, that goes much faster. For tourism, it […]

  • Splashing around New Zealand (fri)

    Woke up, got breakfast, took the nice drive into Queenstown. This time, the scenery was better as the weather was considerably improved. I ended up driving most of the way and I managed to stay on the left the entire time. As with everything, Kiwis are backwards. Not just the driving, but the windshield wipers […]

  • Sounds like New Zealand (thu)

    NZ domestic flights are a stark reminder of how our travel used to be. I didn’t have to show ID to get on the plane. Didn’t have to take my shoes off going through security. Showed up 40 minutes before the flight. Flying into Queenstown is neat. You approach the town, circle over it, down […]