Saturday, November 25, 2006

New Zealand Trip November 2006
Our trip started in San Francisco, we had a lay-over for 9 hours before our flight to Auckland, so we enjoyed the sites of the pier & Ghiradelli Square!
We Arrived in Auckland at 5:00am and then took a transfer van to Aunt Betty's house in Mount Maunganui where we stayed for our 10 day vacation. She lent us her car for the time- a total blessing! We were able to travel all over the country, Rob did a great job conquering the round-abouts and staying to the left!
This is the view from the north part of the island, near Coromandel. Never a dull sight!
The famous New Zealand silver fern.
We hiked into Taranaki Falls- a foggy rainy day but turned out to be a great time in the Tongariro National Forest.
We enjoyed wine tasting in the Hawkes Bay area. During one of our visits, we had the wonderful opportunity to meet two of New Zealand's members of Parlimant, Lockwood Smith & Chris Tremain. They were both very friendly and one of them talked of his friendship with Bill Clinton!
One of our vacation highlights was enjoying black water cave rafting trip through the Waitomo Caves. We got to push ourselves absailing, rafting, rock climbing and got to see millions of little glow worms at the same time! We took a tour with a couple from Belgium. It was fun to get to know them!
Rob was able to golf at Cape Kidnapper's Golf Course, a beautiful location! The course is rated as one of the top 50 courses in the world! I tried to be helpful and was in charge of the flag and driving the cart!
Huka Falls near Taupo, New Zealand.
We went fishing for prawns at the Huka Prawn Park, we only caught 2, but had a great time doing it! We got to eat our catch... but had to buy a few more to supplement our snack!
There is a lot of geothermal water pools in New Zealand. We had a nice time vising this natural hot pool, the hottest in the country. We visited a kiwi fruit farm in Te Puke, the fruit is still in the early stages of growth due to the early summer timing, but we had a good time learning about the industry!