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Robin John’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 10 Sep 2011

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

MapYesterday (Friday) I drove from Rotorua to complete the journey to Wellington - a 6 hour drive. The roads are generally good and straight, with occasional twisty bits and hairpin bends, and not a lot of traffic. On the route down, I drove past the enormous expanse of Lake Taupo, apparently formed from a giant volcanic crater. I also passed close to the eastern boundary of the Tongariro National Park, which has the remnants of many former volcanoes, some of which still rumble and spout mud and ash from time to time. But clearly visible from the road were some snow-covered peaks looking majestic against the sky (see photos). Later in my trip, I plan to visit the Park and get a bit closer to these mountains.
Once I had found my B&B (actually in a charming, small seaside town called Plimmerton about 30 mins north of the city) I headed into the city on the local train to join in the local celebrations for the opening of the rugby tournament. The opening ceremony in Auckland was being shown on some giant screens on the waterfront, but the city also put on its own Maori dancing show on an open-air stage. There was a great atmosphere with lots of people in a specially created 'fanzone'. The opening match was then also shown on the big screens - well done the All Blacks! They put on a creditable display to get the nervy opening match over with.\
Anyway, I am waiting in eager anticipation of the opening Wales game tomorrow evening. Go Wales!