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jamespaul’s Travel Diary

Monday, 15 Jan 2007

Location: hamilton, New Zealand

Map12/1 Glad we found internet access to complete previous update as it is raining. Left Taupo and stopped off to visitor atractions, having decided a day on the lake was best missed.What a day we had ! We visited a Honey Farm observing the bees at work thro glass hives, this was followed by honey and mead tastings. We both decided we preferred the wine. This was followed by a visit to a prawn farm situated alogside the lovely Huka River. We lunched here on prawns, of course. The next stop was Craters of the Moon a volcanic area with lots of hot springs, lava etc. it was amazing. Our B&b in NGONGOTHA near Rotorua had lake frontage. Unfortunately we could see little because of the rain. We finished the day with an exquisite meal at a newly opened restaurant in a former electric sub station. { Don - the venison was something to die for }

13/1 Spent the morning and early pm walking the Waimangu Volcanic Valley - excellent 3 hour walk with wonderful views. This was followed by a cruise on Lake Rotmana, an extinct volcano. This was followed by a visit to the Polynesean Spa to take the waters. Even Tina, who likes her baths hot did not cope with the 42deg C pool. Finished the day with an evening at Mitai a traditional Maori Village. The enactments of their canoe and other rituals were excellent. This was follwed by a Hangi, a traditional Maori meal which is cooked underground in mud.

14/1 Good weather enabled us to see all the lake environs. We drove to Hamilton, where we spent the afternoon and evening with Tanya, Mark and their family who now live here and her sister Sohie also working in NZ. Tanya is our god daughter and it was lovely to see them all. After a magnificent fish BBQ and a few beers Tina managed to drive us home safely.

15/1 Began the day with an early morning swim and hot tub at BB. Toured the delightful gardens and grounds of our hosts. Then moved on to Hamilton Gardens - a magnificent array of different garden settings. Finished the day with another BBQ at Tanya"s.