New Zealand
Napier South

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    • Day 9

      die relativ trockene Fahrt fűhrte uns vorbei an den Thermalquellen von Wairakei. Dann durch das Auenland (Matamata der Hobbits) und den Hukafalls (auch Drehort von Herr der Ringe). Weiter entlang dem Waikatu River zum Lake Taipo (großer Kratersee > Bodensee). Nun vorbei an den Bergen und dem hőchsten Berg Ruapehu. Hier sollte eine Bergwanderung gemacht werden. Nach tagelangem Starkregen nur bedingt mőglich. Zum Abschied aus dem NP ein super Abendessen in der "Schnapps Bar".Read more

    • Day 11

      Weiterreise an die Ostkűste nach Napier

      February 4 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      ...endlich Sonne ‐ schőne Fahrt (5 Std.) quer durchs vulkanhűgelige Land ‐ also űber Berg Tal. Mit einigen Sehenswűrdigkeiten unterwegs (Viadukt, Karottenstadt Ohakune, etc.) Nachmittags in Napier ‐ mittelgroße Stadt mit "gehobenem" Flair. Schőne Promenade entlang der Hawks-Bay (Sűdpazifik). War auch fűr die Einheimischen endlich der erste warme, sonnige Tag (28°). Herrlich!Read more

    • Day 12

      Napier und Fahrt zur Tőlpelkolonie

      February 5 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌧 18 °C

      nach dem Frűhstűck Fahrt in die Stadt. Im Museum die Geschichte vom großen Erdbeben 1931 - die totale Zerstőrung. Am Nachmittag die Fahrt zur Tőlpelkolonie - ein unbeschreibliches Erlebnis mit abenteuerlicher Anfahrt.Read more

    • Day 10

      Woodville Ferry Reserve

      February 3, 2020 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

      Our first night freedom camping! If I learned anything I would tell others not to try their first night freedom camping at 10:30pm. It was late and dark and took us a few tries to find the right campsite. When we did though, it was fantastic. This was a giant field and everyone staying just kind of pulled into their own little area and set up. There were washroom right near us so that was great, and the stars and sunrise were gorgeous.

      Our little Florence slept with her legs in the step - was she trying to escape? Playing in the night? We will never know.
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    • Day 57


      November 2, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      We hed a great few days aside Sheila and Mike in Napier. Dey took wis on a tour o Hawkes Bay, went various plice including view points, a market and much more. We visited numerous winerys and learnt a lot more aboot wine dan just pouring it and drinking😂 🍇🍷. We enjoyed meeting some o da family and da hom cooking- YUM. Finally we went ta dir neighbour Jack's ta watch da All Blacks play Ireland, All Blacks lost ta Ireland fur da first time ever... we said we most o been bad luck. 🏈
      We can't thank dem enough, see you nixt July 😉x
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    • Day 6


      October 8, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

      Popped out of some gorgeous pine and green pasture covered mountains and landed on the beach!
      Napier went through a horrible earthquake in the 30s and so when they rebuilt it they did the whole thing in art deco style. It's a beautiful city and definitely unique in this day and age.Read more

    • Day 49


      December 5, 2015 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌫 1 °C

      Wir sind wieder zurück in Napier, im Art Deco Backpackers. Napier, an der Ostküste der Nordinsel, wurde in den 1930ern von einem Erdbeben zerstört. Beim Wiederaufbau erhielt Napier die starke Art Deco Prägung. Durch die Lage und Architektur erinnert es mich an St. Barbara in Kalifornien. Ich mag den Charme der Stadt jedenfalls.

      Wir belohnen uns nach der Wanderung mit einem Besuch im Irish Pub. Der Abend wird dank feuchtfröhlicher Neuseeländer in den Vierzigern ziemlich lustig. Den Eiertanz kenne ich jetzt jedenfalls ;-) Und Breakdance können die Neuseeländer auch ;-)

      Napier liegt in dem Weinanbaugebiet Hawkes Bay - ideale Gelegenheit für eine Weinprobe. Eigentlich wollen wir mit dem Rad fahren, das Wetter macht uns aber einen Strich durch die Rechnung. Den Wein des ersten Weingutes finden wir mäßig, dafür ist das Brot gut. Beim zweiten Weingut, der Mission Estate Winery, fühlen wir uns wohler. Wir bleiben lange, und beenden die Weinprobe mit einem Gin Tonic - was ist da nur schief gelaufen?

      Am nächsten Tag macht sich Sebastian auf Richtung Raglan, ich bleibe noch ein paar Tage im schönen Napier. Bye, bye, mate!
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    • Day 10

      Rotorua to Napier

      October 31, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 7 °C

      Monday 31st October
      We left Rotorua after spending a very leisurely breakfast chatting to a retired couple from Yorkshire who are keen motorbiking fans. They are travelling on a bike and have been to several countries before New Zealand following various bike races. We stopped at a hunting and fishing store in Rotorua and purchased some more warm clothes, it’s a bit colder here than we anticipated, then it was off towards Napier where we are staying tonight.

      We stopped at the Huka falls. The river is wide but once it enters the gorge it becomes a turbulent, heaving, roaring body of water, deep and with rapids, whirlpools and white foaming water. Then it spills out the end of the gorge as a forceful waterfall, not very high but with huge force creating a 9m deep pit at the bottom of the falls. Apparently enough water flows over the falls in a minute to fill 5 Olympic sized swimming pools. It was quite spectacular. Apart from the white foam the water itself was coloured a beautiful pale turquoise with parts of it a clear deeper shade of turquoise almost like turquoise glass. All these colours are completely natural caused by minerals in the water.

      We doubled back to the Aritiatia Dam which opens every couple of hours to lower the level of the lake reservoir behind the dam which is constantly being filled from rivers flowing into it. When we arrived the dam had been opened, only a few inches, and water was forced out of the narrow gaps and thundering down the rocky gorge towards the lake further on. This is the place that the hobbits and dwarfs went down in barrels to escape in the Hobbit part I. After about 7 minutes the dam doors closed and the water stopped. Immediately the level in the gully below began to lower as what water was left flowed away and was not replenished. It dropped at least 6-7 feet in a matter of minutes exposing large boulders and rocks previously hidden under the rush of water from the dam.

      It was time to hit the road for Napier which was a 2hour drive away. It was a beautiful drive over mountains and through vast wide open green landscapes with fields filled with grazing cattle or sheep. In the mountains it was very cold but as we got lower in the valleys it warmed up so we were constantly putting on and taking off our fleeces. New Zealand is a very easy country to drive in because they drive on the left. We have an automatic car, very common for a hire car and most of the controls are the same as those on cars back home…..except for windscreen wipers and indicators which are on opposite sides to what we are used to. Consequently, before Peter pulls out to overtake, or into a parking spot he lets other road users know with a quick wipe of the windscreen wipers. Sometimes he goes as far as squirting water on the windscreen as well for good measure!! It’s hilarious, we turn at the traffic lights wipers swiping back and forth frantically as drivers all around wonder what on earth we are doing.

      Our bed for the night is 119ongeorges in Napier. We have been lucky once again. It is a super little bungalow with the all-important veranda and bistro table and chairs. Wendy and Peter, our hosts insisted we joined them for a glass of wine (or grapefruit or orange for Janet and I) and canapes. They were very interested to hear about our travels so far and our impressions of New Zealand. We chatted for a couple of hours and they recommended a couple of good places to eat in town. The Emporium in Napier sounded like it fitted the bill and we enjoyed a really lovely meal there tonight.
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    • Day 11

      Napier – Art Deco Heritage

      November 1, 2016 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 10 °C

      Tuesday 1st November
      Following recommendations from Wendy and Peter we decided to do an Art Deco walk run by the Art Deco Heritage Trust in the centre of Napier. The walks are run by volunteers and take groups around the streets describing them before the huge earthquake at 10.47am Feb 3rd 1931 which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale that totally devastated Napier and to a lesser extent surrounding towns. The sea bed rose 2.5m, which meant that ships and boats in the harbour found themselves on dry land as the sea receded. The town grew in 8,000 hectares of land space in just over two minutes. Almost immediately after the great earthquake fires sprang up, ignited by Bunsen burners in pharmacies and these fires raged and spread for two days doing much more damage than the earthquake. Firemen could not put out the fire even when they tried to draw water from the sea as the pebbles blocked their hoses. The fires had to be left to burn out, devastating everything that was left after the quake. Fortunately, a photographer who survived the quake had the foresight to race back to his shop after the quake, grab a camera and went around photographing the damage done by the earthquake. Without this man’s photos, there would be no record of it as the fire swept through shortly afterwards.

      Since it was the time of the great depression all manual labourers in New Zealand flocked to Napier to help rebuild it as there was no other work to be had. Bankrolled by two men, an engineer and a banker the town rose from the ashes in about 3 years. They refused to allow buildings to be thrown up hastily, they planned and designed the new town, it was in Art Deco style. Napier lived on. A few of the iconic buildings have been pulled down in the 70’s before it was realised their historical significance, but a lot survive and with the support of all the townsfolk no new building is allowed unless it is in keeping with the Art Deco theme of the town as designed by the two original men. The buildings have the architectural design of the 20’s complete with colours and typeface. There are lots of shops catering to that period and once a year in February the whole town has a week of festivities remembering that era with everyone dressing up and taking part in activities befitting of the era. I think it would be wonderful to return then.

      After the tour, we spent a while walking around soaking up the atmosphere. Napier is on the coast and has a wonderful floral display by the beachfront although the beach is pebbly and not sandy. However, there are fountains which dance to music by day and are coloured by night, a glorious sight. The sea is a pale turquoise in the shallows, gradually changing to an azure blue in the deeper water. With the cornflower blue skies and the Tui bird making its distinctive sound around us it was heavenly standing looking out to sea soaking up the moment, trying to commit it to memory.

      To add to the atmosphere there was a vintage car company who had 5 or 6 cars parked on the front. All the drivers were dressed in 1920’s clothes and you could hire one to take you on a tour of the town. I particularly liked a little green sports number with the number plate ‘What Ho!’

      After stopping for the obligatory cup of tea and cake we decided it was time to move on. One of the problems of being such a beautiful town is that the big cruise liners dock there and disgorge vast numbers of tourists all at once into the town. The Sea Princess had just docked; it was a huge ship and passengers were just filtering into the town. Time for us to depart.

      We jumped in the car and drove to Bluff Peak, a high point at one end of Napier which afforded fabulous views over the dockyard where we could see a container ship being loaded as well as the Sea Princess in dock, boy it was a huge cruiser! There were also lots of huge tree trunks stacked in open crates, presumably waiting to be shipped somewhere for telegraph poles or the like. At the top was a beautiful rock garden which was obviously very well loved and cared for. The spring flowers were in full bloom and it was a riot of colour, full of pinks, purples, yellows, oranges, reds and whites, so very very pretty.

      From here we drove onto Te Anu peak an even higher peak which had even further reaching views than the Bluff Peak. It was a steep climb up the hill to the peak, on a very narrow road, the last 500yds were particularly hairy as there was a sheer drop on one side of the road and few passing places. Thankfully we made it up without meeting any other vehicle. The views were wonderful and it was possible to see miles and miles into the distance. We were fortunate it was a clear sunny day which no doubt helped.

      Tonight, we ate at 3 Doors Up in Napier, very tasty and recommended.
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    • Day 7

      Bedtime Wrap

      March 9, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Today was ultimately a mix bag; there was some beautiful scenery and great food but was marred by a few moments of 'urgh!'

      The day started off with a visit to a historic village that boasted a collection of unique craft stores. It delivered a ghost town that was going though major repairs. However we did locate the TARDIS sans The Doctor through.

      The day continued with a look at some local falls; McLaren Falls and a visit to the grounds of a former mission. It was interesting to notice the stark contrast in historic events when told by a society managing the grounds of a former Christian Mission and the Maori people running the tours at Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

      The day took a turn for the worse as we headed out for Naiper, Hawkes Bay. The combination of slow vehicles, winding roads and roadworks pushed our travel time for a 211km trip out to roughly four hours.

      We also had an unplanned pit stop at Putaruru, after a truck threw a rock into our windscreen which started cracking at an alarming rate. A particularly unhelpful call to Thrifty and we forked out money to get the windscreen fixed and hour of our time.

      A phone call to the surf company in Whangamata who had thoughtfully hung onto my drivers license was enlightening. It turns out as we left in the nick of time, the entire peninsula flooded the afternoon we left. The flooding does mean that my licence has now been misplaced, most likely indefinitely. On the plus side we didn't get marooned in Whangamata and I now had a legitimate reason to visit my New Zealand colleagues.

      We finished the day with wine and good food at local eatery in Naiper. Easily the best food we have had on our trip, which left us both feeling reinvigorate for tomorrow.

      Lysa XO

      P.S. Check out the oversized furniture in our room. We are still wondering how anyone managed to get it in here.
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