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Posts from the ‘North Island’ Category

East Cape 6: Small town distractions and a birthplace

It was now early afternoon on this one-day pilgrimage. From the cafe we moseyed to Te Araroa, a sleepy East Cape town but with plenty of interesting features. It is also fairly significant in our family history. Read more

East Cape 5: A backcountry station and an historic wharf

We left the decaying cottage to drive several kilometres further inland. Vehicles were rationalised down to two for this leg and as we pulled away I glanced back at my car hoping that I would see it again. Read more

East Cape 4: The house where Dad was a boy

In 1937 an Englishman called Frederick Grace and his wife, a half-Maori lady named Elizabeth, moved to a remote cottage in the East Cape. Read more

East Cape 3: A few churches and the family heritage trail begins

Bleary-eyed, I poked my head around the curtains. Upon seeing the light and early morning colours I went scrambling for my camera. It wasn’t exactly ‘sunrise’; the big golden ball was seemingly as enthusiastic to get out of bed as I was. Read more

East Cape 2: Dereliction, sunsets and other gorgeousness

Prepared to take the punt that I had enough food for the night, I drove through Opotiki without stopping and followed the wee Englishman’s instructions to the East Cape road, Highway 35. Read more

East Cape 1: Drive to the start line

The East Cape is a pretty epic region of the North Island. I drove it over a family-themed long weekend in February, a fantastic heritage trail visiting some of my father’s places of origin. But first I had to get up there. Read more

Rotorua finale: A volcanic lake walk via some gondola and luge business

Rotorua ain’t short on stuff to do, the trick is finding a balance to suit all tastes. Our final day swept over some of the city’s main attractions, producing something for everyone and ensuring peace and harmony. Read more

Rotorua 4: Mudpools, geysers and delicious sulphur smells

Rotorua is geothermal central, a fact immediately apparent when you arrive in the city. There’s no missing that un-subtle (but not unpleasant, in my opinion) sulphur aroma in the air. A must-do on our visit was go to the source of this smell and take in a bit of geyser and mud pool action. Read more

Rotorua 3: A walk among giants

I’ve long wanted to see giant redwoods on their native Californian turf. There’s something about hugely old and enormous trees I find a bit fascinating. But it turns out I can get a taste of this much closer to home. Read more

Rotorua 2: Out and about in lake country

The main point of the weekend was to live lakeside, so water activities were going to feature strongly in our plans. When in Rome, etc. Read more

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