Good bye to New Zealand - hope to return again!

Trip Start Nov 16, 2005
Trip End Apr 11, 2006

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Where I stayed
Carolyn's home

Flag of US Minor Outlying Islands  ,
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Sun 19th to 23rd Feb......

I spent the last 5 days in Piha and Auckland before departing for Honolulu.

On Sunday morning we all went to breakfast in Titirange - a town in the mountain ranges - a very pretty place. This is where all the locals from the villages in the Waitakere Ranges seem to congregate on Sunday morning for breakfast. It was excellent - wonderful muesli, fruit, yoghurt and good coffee. The Waitakere Ranges are north-west of Auckland and consist of forest and coastline, looking onto the Tasman Sea and Manakua Harbour. There are loads of nature trails (hence Dale's parents walking skills) waterfalls and marvellous harbour and ocean lookout spots. After breakfast we visited Villa Maria winery but they had a private function for 150 people for lunch so no tours were available - only tastings!! I then took the hire car back to the airport. In the afternoon, we went for a walk to the waterfalls where I had a swim in freezing cold water - it was crystal clear but very cold! When we got back home we had a BBQ on the deck and Jason's friend came to visit. The weather was wonderful.

During the follwing few days before I left, I had lots of walks in the mountains and went for a swim in the sea where the film "The Piano" was on location. You had to be careful because the waves were quite strong. Dale's mother took me on some wonderful walks with great photo opportunities - I was so thankful to her as I would not find these places on my own - I could have stayed there for another week and done some more exploring!

I spent most evenings sitting on the deck watching the tide coming in - really blissful - what a view!!

Jason's Mum and Don came to stay for a few days and Jason's Mum took me on a guided tour of Auckland - it is called the City of Sails - I can see why - lots of yachts in the marina. We had lunch in a lovely charming place called Devonport - a suburb of Auckland. Because I choose to spend my last days out in the countryside, I did not get to 'do' Auckland in the normal sense of the word - but, that was my choice. I will need to come back again and do a city tour - like the tourists - but, I got to see the parts the tourists do not get to see!

Jason's mum has had a wonderful travelling experience - around the world for three years - yes, that's right! She is a very interesting lady to talk to and I could have spent days listening to all her stories of her travels - it makes my trip look really tame and boring!

Finally, all good things come to an end and Jason's mum took me to the airport where my flight was leaving for Sydney and then on to Honolulu.

Final Thoughts

NZ is an amazing place - I have had so many many wonderful and amazing experiences that I could go on and on forever - suffice to say that I will be back - God willing and the finances lasting!

A few favourites:

Franz Joeseph and Fox Glaciers
The trip to Doubtful Sound
The Lakes - Manapouri - Wanaka - Taupo
Huka Falls
Akaroa - Queenstown - Wellington
The Bay of Islands
Piha and surrounding area

These are just a few - there are many more.....

Good bye from NZ and Aloha....
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