New Zealand
Tutaekuri River

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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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    • Day 8

      Bedtime Wrap

      March 10, 2017 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      Today we were in Napier, Hawkes Bay. We had a bit of a sleep in and then jumped into the car and drove into Ahuriri. We had a look around inside some of the shops and art galleries. While we were shopping my colourful feather purse strap broke, I think I might beable to repair it but regardless I can still use it as a clutch.

      We jumped back into the car and did our own wine tasting tour around Napier and Hastings. We visited Stonecroft, Unison Vineyard and Te Awa wineries. We tasted a number of different wines. Including all sorts of whites, reds and even a dessert wine. My favourite was the dessert wine but I also liked the Pinot Gris we tried.

      We decided to stop in between our wine tasting and drive up to Te Mata peak. Te Mata has views out to the ocean and a long way inland. Today it was very foggy; we couldn't see anything.

      We had an early dinner and played with our host for a bit, he is such a cutie!

      Erin XO
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    • Day 357

      Around Napier/Hastings

      September 27, 2018 in New Zealand ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Wenn ich mir einen Ort in der Nordinsel aussuchen koennte, eine laengere Zeit zu bleiben und zu arbeiten, waere es Napier! Direkt am Strand gelegen, kristallklares Wasser, freundliche Menschen, ruhige, gechillte Atmosphare! Also zukuenftige Backpacker, Napier ist mein Geheimtipp fuer euch. Ich hatte leider keine Zeit, um dort eine Weile zu bleiben. Im Nachhinein denke ich mir, dass ich mir einen Tag Zeit haette nehmen koennen. Zu spaet... Aaaaaaber, ich kann immer wieder kommen :)Read more

    • Day 10

      ... im Tongariro NP (Regen,Regen ...)

      February 3, 2023 in New Zealand ⋅ 🌙 18 °C

      ...nur zwei aus unsrer Gruppe haben den Berg versucht zu erreichen. Der Rest machte die kleine Runde ca. 6 km am Wasserfall vorbei. Nass, nass, nass bis auf die Unterwäsche.

    • Day 27


      November 15, 2015 in New Zealand ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

      Petit stop sur notre route à Napier. ville détruite dans les années 30 après un tremblement de terre et reconstruite dans le style Art Deco. Ambiance Vintage et super météo, nous nous sommes principalement baladé et avons profité du soleil avant de nous calé avec une bonne bière locale devant les informations très peu réjouissantes de la métropole. Pour l'anecdote, les drapeaux français flottent au vent même à l'autre bout du globe et les messages de soutien et de compation sont systématiques de la part de kiwis.
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    Tutaekuri River

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