Friday, 23 November 2012

Volcanoes, beaches, Wellington, Ferry

We are really getting into this tourist thing now. Tuesday we did a mountain walk on the slopes of one of the massive volcanoes in the centre of the North Island - fantastic views of the volcanes on a sunny breezy day. On Wednesday we heard that one of the volcanoes had erupted - only an ash cloud - but they had a panic getting walkers off the high slopes.
Wednesday we travelled down the west coast stopping at a few beaches - all massive long and windswept, but we found a place to swim, a place to walk and some craft shops to mooch round.
Thursday was Wellington - the capital city - we ticked off the tourist things - old churches, cable car to the Botanical Gardens, Te Papa Museum which is massive, fantastically entertaining and free. I really enjoyed the Maori stuff, very evocative - I did a lot of reading on the internet while I was off sick so it was all much more interesting having read about it all.
Today we travelled to South Island on the ferry which goes along fiord type places - I saw some whales in the distance which was exciting for me. Then a scenic train ride down the east coast to Kaikura where we are booked onto a whale watching trip tomorrow morning. And this evening we had a steak and a pint in an English type pub - shame the beer is cold...
And all this week we have been blessed by fantastic clear sunny but refreshingly breezy weather. We are reading about rain and floods in the UK!

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