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Sha’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 01 Mar 2007

Location: Mt. Maunganui, New Zealand

MapHappy St. Davids Day all! We were out celebrating it true style last night here in Mt. Maunganui. We came here to meet Tracey's cousin Clair who has been in NZ for 6 weeks. We had a good walk up the mountain last night before we hit the pub; and I ran it this morning (got me some trainers back in Auckland). Not much else here to be honest there is a surf contest going on today, at least it seems to be brightening up had to introduce the rain coat to NZ for the first time this morning. Might hire a board later and go out myself.

We eventually broke free of Aucklands grasp on Monday and headed down the coast. Tuesday we stopped quickly by at the Miranda shorebird centre to check out the birds, then we drove down to Paeroa to do a very tourist thing of photographing the giant L & P bottle. After which I decided that we should have a go at tackling our first mountain peek which was Mt. Te Aroha; a 950m ascent to the top of 954m. Nice climb through the bush revealed a massive TV mast stuck on the top but the views were amazing all down the Bay of Islands and down towards Rotorua. So I have been forgetting to tell you about all the tramping that we have been doing. At various points we've climbed a few hills and 'extinct' volcanoes we did this crazy scramble last week - I'll try and get some photos up of the views. So you see we not just drinking and doing crazy sights.

Yesterday we stopped at Matamata where hobbiton from LOTR was set. But we decided it was far too expensive to go and see so made do with a photo of the sign instead (might do a better tour down at Wellington). After which we headed to a quirky town called Tirau which has weird buildings and store signs made from correugated iron. On our way here we stopped at yet another waterfall (McLaren falls) and of course our second winery - yum!

Well off to catch some surf and hopefully some sun!
Sha x