Then it was off to Napier, where we arrived just in time to see the tail end of the Vintages Festival. Napier was destroyed by an earthquake in the 20's and the townspeople decided to adopt a 20's theme when they rebuilt the downtown area.
Friday Feb 15th we strolled around downtown Auckland in the morning. That's the hull of the KZ-1, New Zealand's Cup challenger, in case you are wondering. Then it was off to Tauranga. Our motel pool was naturally heated... check the sign! The following morning we climbed Mount M... for a fantastic view of the coastline, and got caught in a downpour in t-shirts and shorts at the summit. Then it was off to Rotorua, where I (Chris) finally got to see the famous bubbling mud pools (I've wanted to see these since my Grade 9 Latin teacher back in Saskatoon showed us her travel slides. We took a little dip in some mud ourselves, but only in a temperature controlled tub. One of the natural pools we saw is called the Cooking Pool and the Maori still use it to cook a full-sized pig in about 2 hours.