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2016 Jul by Michael Novins
December 2007 and July 2016 -- I have visited Auckland twice, where, despite my disinclination for international chain hotels, my favorite hotel is the Hilton Auckland, the city's most architecturally distinct hotel and well located on Princes Wharf. My favorite restaurants are Federal Delicatessen, an excellent New York-style deli (http://www.thefed.co.nz), Depot Eatery, which focuses on New Zealand ingredients (http://www.eatatdepot.co.nz), Dizengoff, the city's best place for breakfast, and Giapo for ice cream (http://giapo.com). The city's best museum is the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which has an interesting collection on New Zealand's natural history, including specimens of many extinct species (http://www.aucklandmuseum.com/). |
2015 Apr by Ryan Trapp
||Ryan Trapp does not wish to be contacted by MTP members|
March/April 2015: I started my trip in Auckland where I spent time exploring the city on foot over a couple days visiting numerous places, such as the underwhelming Auckland Fish Market. Later, I caught a 2.5 hour bus to the port city of Tauranga and on to neighboring Mount Maunganui, where I hiked to the top of the mountain of the same name and boarded my 10-day expedition ship to the Kermadec Islands. |
2010 Mar by Veikko Huhtala*
We have five or six visits to North Island of New Zealand. Last time was March 2010 when we were returning back from Pitcairn Islands. Almost every time we stayed in same Backpackers on the Queen Street of Auckland. Last year we stayed there even one week and this year three days. Albert’s Park was situated just about hundred meters from our accommodation and we went there every day to feed birds, especially sparrows. On the other visits we are travelled also many other towns, as Hamilton, Napier, Rotorua, Palmerston and Wellington. From Wellington we went by ferry to South Island also. From Auckland Airport we flew to Norfolk Island and Chatham Island as well. North Island is smaller than South Island, but it is the 14th largest island in the world anyway. |
2007 Jan by Chris Lewis
Rotorua (or Rottonrua as some call it). What a strange place. The whole place is on fire. There's steam rising from everywhere and the smell of sulphur (a cross between rotten eggs and sweaty socks) hangs over the whole place. A ring of hills ring Rotorua about 20 km away in each direction. Rotorua is in the crater of a massive volcano, the hills are the crater rim. When it last blow up big time in AD186; the explosion reddened skies as far away as China and Rome, created Lake Taupo and diverted the Waikato River from the east to the west coast. The most recent serious explosion was on 10th June 1886 when villages got completely engulfed Pompeii style. 5000 square miles of land was buried.|
I spent the first part of the afternoon in Te Puia. Which is a Moari centre right in the heart of one of the more active geothermal areas. It includes the Pohutu Geyser which blows about every hour throwing steam and boiling water 10s of metres into the air. The whole area is covered in boiling mud pools, steam vents and has an strange sci-fi feel to it. The Maori side was a recreated Maori village with tradition crafts and a show, but I'll skip that for now. Scroll down to see why. The other highlight of Te Puia was the Kiwi house. Kiwis are nocturnal and very rare but they have one and it's house is in light during the night and dark during the day so it was out running around. It's a strange bird. Quite big and dumpy. It's easy to see why they were all but wiped out when mammals were introduced to New Zealand.
1983 Jul by Jorge Sanchez
Tongariro National Park: I traveled to Ohakune with the intention to make trekkings to the Mount Ruapehu, in the Tongariro National Park. But I arrived not in the right time; tourists were making preparations for skiing, but nobody went there in May to make trekkings. In the tourist office I was advised not to make long trekkings because of the winter weather. I was not disappointed, I would visit the Tongariro National Park anyway, even if I could not cross the park completely, which was my first intention. Those mountains, I was told in the tourist office, are sacred and have religious significance for the maories.. That afternoon I just made a recognition of the place, leaving for the morning a more serious trekking. The trekkings starts just at about 1 kilometer from Ohakune village. I saw the UNESCO sign and followed one of the tracks, a short one, then another one a little bit longer, but returned to Ohakune when it was starting to become dark. I noticed that the nature inside the park was dense, powerful, Many signs on the way gave you explanation about the flora with the name of the trees. I had booked a bed in a dormitory in a Youth Hostel of Ohakune, but after the second trekking I found out that there was a camping site cheaper inside the park. I made friendship with some hitchhikers from France staying there, and we talked about travels. They were taking an around the world journey, and after New Zealand they would fly to Santiago de Chile soon to complete their voyage around the planet. They had worked in the farms of Australia for a few months and now they had money enough to continue travelling for at least one more year. The next day I went again to the UNESCO sign and walked up a hill until I saw the peaks of the volcanoes. I felt satisfied. Some time later, when the clouds prevented me the visibility, I returned to the starting point, visited downtown Ohakune, known as the Carrot City, and in the afternoon I returned by bus to Auckland............................................................................................................
Waiheke Island: I spent one day in this island.
Taumarunui : A slice of Heaven: I enjoyed very much my two short visits to this town, known as A Slice of Heaven as I saw in a plaque.
I arrived there from Auckland and the bus made a long stop before heading further, to Wellington, so all the passengers went for lunch, to the supermarket, or to walk, as it was my case.
I entered the Tourist Office, next door to the bus stop, and they gave me much information about the place and I was advised not to miss the Maorí Marae.
That marae was most interesting and many maori people were having a meeting inside.
Heart of the King Country: I still had time to discover the downtown walking. There was a museum in the old premises of the train station but it was open by appointment, then walking along the main street I found this monument that I show in the picture. In a plaque I read:
Heart of the King Country.
At the turn of the 19th century a large, beautiful, wild, isolated area occupied the Central Western Region of New Zealand's North Island.
The map of 1894 (shown on this stone) became the official boundary of the King Country.
The Top Hat on the chest of this stone was the recognized symbol of guardianship for this area.
Situated at the junction of the Ongarue and Wanganui Rivers.
Soon became known by the boat travellers into this area as
THE HEART OF THE KING COUNTRY And yet in another plaque I could read as follows:
HEARTLAND, KING COUNTRY
This is a country beyond the means of time to a stranger,
to know if you are born.
From a table top mountain
to the joining of rivers
lies the heart of this land that
gives our soul.
WHISPER QUIET OUR IDENTITY,
CREATE OUR SPARK AND OUR SHINE,
HEARTLAND, KING COUNTRY
I LOVE YOU FOR ALL OF MY TIME.
Wander down from our mountains
come through our streets,
to our river side waters that will
put you at ease.
Always thoughtful and brooding
the closeness of our high land ,
a grip of reality that effects both
woman and man
Welcome, come again stranger
and as you pass through,
centre your soil within the heap of our land
and feel the four winds of our unlocked
Ngapuwaiwaha marae: This was my best visit in Taumarunui.
I arrived there walking and entered inside the premises. There was a meeting of maori people, but nobody stopped me, nevertheless after 5 minutes or so, a maori invited me to leave the marae because the maori had an important meeting and did not want to be disturbed by my presence.
Therefore I left. |