Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wicked In Sydney


We returned to Sydney on our way home from NZ and stayed with Mum & Dad.



I went on a girls night out, to see the Musical Wicked,  with Mum, my sister Cathy and my nieces, Rebecca and Rachel. It was a preview show.


Great seats, and a great show. No photos allowed in the theatre so I nicked this one from the web. (Thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald).

Not such great photos taken with my phone…

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not sure what setting I had it on, some special effect! ha ha.

Or it may have been the glare!

Give me a real camera any day!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Day 10 & 11–Land of the Long Rain Cloud!

Back in Auckland

Back in Auckland for the final night.
Fly back to Sydney late tomorrow. Hope they’ll let us back in. 

A bit of luxury at the Sofitel Auckland.
Below is the view from our room….


and below is our room…


one could get use to this!


and then finally, last day, and guess what – its raining!


We love New Zealand – despite the weather…
We hope to return soon, maybe do the South Island next time.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 9 – Last day on Coromandel

Last day, back to Auckland tomorrow.
I was hoping to get to Hobbiton while here but it is too wet and muddy, so we gave up on the idea (which is very disappointing as I thought it would be the trip highlight… Sad smile)

Today we did a bit of washing and packing.
Went for a short drive to visit an art gallery.

These are the pinnacles that we drive past every day and I’ve been waiting for a good photo opportunity but I have given up. 

Still rather beautiful - even in the rain.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 8– Two metres of rain per annum

Coromandel Peninsula

Today we drove to the east coast of the Coromandel to take a ride on the Driving Creek Railway.
Its overcast today, but not raining….yet… there is a new rain front on the way! Yes they can get up to 2 metres of rain a year, Armidale would wash away…

Anyway, back in 1973 potter Barry Brickell, came to Coromandel to set up an artists retreat.
He built a narrow gauge train line and a train to get up the hill to get the clay for his pots.
Then in 1990 the bank manager complained about his lack of loan repayments so he started taking tourists for train rides.
Barry added to the line every year, it has switchbacks and zig zags, its now about 3kms. Great engineering! He made the bricks in the pottery and many of the retaining walls are made of 1000s of bottles, leftovers from the visiting artists.   He’s now 84 and has gifted the whole shebang to the nation on his death.
At the top is the Eyeful Tower for the views. Barry's other project is the restoration of the native NZ forest  and has planted 100s of Kauri trees.
Below is the view from the top a bit cloudy still.
We then returned to Pauanui by the west coast, making a few stops to take photos while the sun is shining!



We have bought some nice Fish and Mussels for our dinner tonight.. Yum!
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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Day 7 – ‘Who’ll Stop the Rain?’


Long as I remember rain's been comin' down
Clouds of mystery pourin' confusion on the ground
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain
1970, lyrics by John Fogarty - Creedence Clearwater Revival


Coromandel Peninsula

The rain continues so we took a drive down to the southern areas of the Coromandel to Whangamata and Waihi.
This is the open cut Gold Mine at Waihi. Its HUGE and its right next to the town, there is an enormous truck driving up from the bottom and it looks like a matchbox toy in the above photo. The photo below is taken from about the same spot facing the opposite direction.
This is the pump house which is a Waihi landmark. It has been moved, 300m by the mining company as it was about to fall into the mine. Nice town, all sparkling and clean, its wealth from mine and farms.

Above is Karangahake, which has some fantastic walks but far too wet and muddy to contemplate that today. That green grass is like a oozy, squelchy sponge.
Our last stop for the day was Paeroa, it claims to be the antiques capital of NZ. So we wandered around a bit , but didn’t buy anything.
….and it doesn’t matter where we end up in the world we always seem to need to go to the supermarket. Countdown is the NZ equivalent to Woolies. They have trundles rather than trolleys! They also have New World Supermarkets (Coles???) and lots of small supermarkets ( 4 square) which seem to hold their own against the big boys, unlike at home where they would be priced out of business. Very few fast food places like Maccas. Lots of cafes where you take a tray and self serves from the glass cabinets. Petrol stations with driveway service! (Petrol about $2.05 per litre).
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 6 – Blue Skies are Smiling on Me

Blue days, all of them gone
Nothin' but blue skies from now on
Blue skies smilin' at me
Nothin' but blue skies do I see
Writer: Irving Berlin

Coromandel Peninsula


We took advantage of the watery sunshine to do a glass bottom boat tour from Whitianga.


These photos  are of Cathedral Cove, this is the beach where they filmed a scene in the Narnia – Prince Caspian Movie – see below!



These are the fish… from the glass viewing bottom. They were BIG Snappers, with blues and gold speckles, very pretty. Some of them were so big that they wouldn’t fit in the oven! These are in the marine park so are protected and can’t be fished.



The rock on this coast is very porous so there are lots of caves along the cliffs. This one was large enough to fit the whole boat.


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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 5 - Its still raining!

Coromandel Peninsula

Raining wet and miserable. Above, this is the nearest beach to our resort, a seven minute walk through the rainforest.   Shoe Island is in this photo.

All these beautiful beaches and we can’t see them, anyway we are here until Friday so I hope we get a bit of dry weather before then.

So, today we went for a drive to do a bit of recognisance.


We stopped at Whitianga for lunch. Wh is pronounced F. (Fet-i-anga)
We had, fush & chups…. ha ha, bro

Above is Buffalo Beach, named after the ship that was wrecked here.
Found a nice little art gallery and I bought a piece of silver jewellery from a local artist.

Some thoughts on the Coromandel.
  • Good roads, very few pot holes considering all the rain.
  • Lots of tight bends, narrow roads, hills and beautiful vistas. Bike riders would love it.
  • Very little litter.
  • Lots of one way bridges.
  • Very green pastures, lush grass with clover.
  • Fat dairy cows, with big udders, high stocking rate per hectare.
  • Healthy sheep, lots of lamb twins, mostly Suffolk and English breeds, no merinos.
  • Lovely gardens, must be able to plant things and then they just grow! Freesias, pink & red magnolias, camellias are all in bloom.
  • Forests of HUGE tree ferns, thousands of them.
  • The sea doesn’t smell very salty? – High run off of rainwater???
They say it will be fine tomorrow, we shall see….

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