Our next stop was Napier which was demolished by an earthquake in the 1930’s and re-invented itself as an Art Deco town.
From there we went to Tauranga which is where my cousin Cherise lives with her husband Nelson. They showed us around, took us to their favourite fish-and-chips place and we visited their home.
Finally we docked and disembarked at Auckland. We spent three days in and around Auckland. On the morning of the first day we went up the Sky Tower which was close to our hotel. Unfortunately it was cloudy so the colours are quite muted.
We then went to the Art Gallery and took a guided tour with a volunteer guide who was very informative.
One of the things the volunteer discussed was the Maori culture. The Maori women have a tattoo on their chin but the men have tattoos everywhere on their face. Tattoos on different parts of the face have different meanings.
Finally we went through Albert Park and wandered around town a bit before heading home.
The next day we met up with some friends from Raleigh, NC and went to the museum.
Again we took a guided tour and also went to an introduction to the Maori culture which was put on by a group of Maori who were also very good singers and dancers.
That evening we met with my cousins 3 daughters who took as to their favourite restaurant in Auckland.
The next day we took a tour out to Pahi Beach on the west coast. On the way we stopped at a ridge of the Waitakere range where you can see both coasts.
Some pictures of Pahi Beach below.
On the way home we stopped to see a 1000-year old Kauri tree. The picture below was taken from a platform about 50 feet above the base of the tree. At that point the diameter is still about 8 feet. Of course, very few of these old trees remain.
Tomorrow we are heading off to Queenstown.