• Day51

    Day 50 ~ 17,500 Miles, Rotorua Tauranga

    February 24 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 77 °F

    Day 50 ~ 17,500 Miles

    When the name of our port today, Tauranga, is translated it means Sheltered Harbor. There are many beautiful beaches near the wharf and the Kiwis take great pride in being an outdoorsy lot. There are numerous water-sports and all types of beach based activities just outside their doorsteps.

    I should probably write a wee bit about the word ‘Kiwi’ for anyone not familiar with it. The Kiwi is the national and sadly nearly extinct bird of NZ. The Kiwi fruit is a delicious fruit and one of the largest exports of NZ thanks the marketing geniuses renaming it from Chinese Gooseberries to Kiwi. The Kiwi is also a New Zealander.

    The litter bins and wheelie bins lined Marine Parade on our way out today because it was rubbish pickup day. Some things just sound so much nicer they way others say them.

    We did pass the largest Kiwi growing area in NZ and while the orchards are difficult to see from the road you can occasionally peak beyond the massive hedges surrounding them that serve as wind barriers to the delicate flowers that will become this wonderful fruit.

    We then went to Fairy Springs to learn about and see live Kiwi birds. The facility has several breeding pairs and a commitment to ensure their survival. As a flightless bird they have many predators, namely stoats, mongoose, and dogs.

    The North Island of New Zealand (where this trip is limited) was formed from volcanic activity while the South Island was formed from Glacial activity. There are hundreds of naturally occurring thermal springs and mud pools in this area and there are natural vents dotting the landscape letting the underground steam escape. Today we visited the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland which is alien-like, desolate, yet incredibly beautiful. But because they are sulfur springs, one doesn’t want to hang around too long.

    Bonus: our new captain just announced that we will have gale winds of 35-40 knots tonight.
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