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June 30, 2005


wasjig fun (think mirror image)

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June 26, 2005



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June 25, 2005


hello wanaka !

Posted by robl at 10:02 AM | Comments (5)

June 23, 2005


i want to live forever, i want to fly - fame !

Posted by robl at 05:39 AM | Comments (0)

June 21, 2005


tasty wine

Posted by robl at 04:09 AM | Comments (0)

June 20, 2005

What's Up Down South

We've had a great time in the North Island but now are anxious to get down South to Cardrona for the snow so in the last week we have travelled from Taupo to the South Island visiting quite a few places on the way.

In Taupo we had a look at the thermally active area called "Craters of the Moon" - it does have big craters as the name suggests but the ground was literally steaming and bubbling away and we were able to get a good close look (personally I find it all very fascinating as this stuff would never happen at home). We also popped in at Huka Falls and the Volcanic Activity Centre.

We then drove through the mountains (Colin just loves those hills) to take us to Wellington where we reunited with the barmy army. The game was apparently average but we enjoyed it regardless. Being my first proper game, I found it odd to see that fans from the different teams share the same seating areas and actually being quite pleasant to each other.

While we were in Wellington we met up with Rik (who Rob and I used to work with) & Vicky for a few drinks, Matt (who I used to work with at PA) for lunch and Lu (who we met in Fiji) which was all rather quite pleasant although hopefully next time we can spend more time with people. Wellington as a whole was a lovely city and the people were remarkably friendly and chilled out too.

After our fleeting visit to Wellington we took Colin on a ferry to the South Island and landed in Picton where we were once again able to split from the barmy army. We have already visited Nelson and now are in Blenheim where we plan to hire bikes and cycle round the Marborough Wine region sampling wines!!

[2 Taupo Galleries here and here]

Posted by deb at 06:42 AM | Comments (10)



Posted by robl at 01:05 AM | Comments (0)


art deco cathedral in nelson

Posted by robl at 12:47 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2005

They dont like it up 'em

So as you might have gathered from the camera piccies we're going to see the British and Irish Lions play a prep game against the Wellington Lions tonight ! It's strange being couped up with all the other Lions supporters at our camp site - they have their own little world of camper vans and matching Lions clothing ...

There also seems to be a touring stage show of Dads Army - how strange.

We've spent the last few days travelling down to Wellington and visited a few spots along the way - I think the most impressive have been the Glow worm caves (which we weren't allowed to take pictures of !) and also the Aranui caves that were nearby. The glow worms really had to be seen to be believed and I'm glad we weren't able to take pictures as it would have spoiled the effect, we were taken underground and then placed into a boat and told not to make ny noise - the boat was then pulled along a rope into a pitch black cave where the glow worms were waiting. It really was like seeing thousands of stars above you ....

We also passed through Rotorua which is an incredibly active geothermal region, you could just walk down the street and there would be steam venting out of the ground. We visited a few places here and also saw a Maori concert that turned out to be a lot more fun than I initially thought - the people performing it really appeared to be enjoying themselves and there didn't appear to be anything forced about it. I think the most impressive thermal area we visited was Wai-O-Tapu and saw a Geyser errupt.

We'll be heading over to the South Island in the next few days - yey !

[2 Caves galleries here and here]
[2 Roturua galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 05:08 AM | Comments (4)

June 14, 2005


rob visits the bassett salon

Posted by robl at 11:20 AM | Comments (2)


we are going to see lions !

Posted by robl at 05:50 AM | Comments (6)

June 11, 2005


lady knox geyser

Posted by robl at 07:43 AM | Comments (2)

June 10, 2005


rawwwr !

Posted by robl at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)


aranui caves

Posted by robl at 01:45 AM | Comments (0)

June 08, 2005

Postcards from Northland

We've been in New Zealand about 3 weeks now and I feel its about time I made some sweeping statements about the country based on evidence collected from our travels around Northland.

"The Roads" - a portion of ninety mile beach is also actually a highway and it has a 100km/hr speed limit. What NZ call highways are mostly like B roads in Wales (2 lanes, bendy and of varying quality) apart from in Auckland where Highway 1 is 8 lanes wide. We had to stop on a more remote portion of highway 1 due to a farmer herding some bulls. The roads are generally quiet which is good as it means we don't tend to collect a trail of cars.

"Boy Racers" - take Otley boy racer population, multiply by 10 and you get how big car pimping and cruising is over here (mainly in the towns in the middle of nowhere). I have not spotted any chavs yet but there is definately an equivalent.

"Warehouse" - a huge shopping phenomenon in NZ - you can go to one of these megastores and buy a cheap version of anything. Mainly you come out of the store with things you never even knew you needed, a bit like Ikea I suppose.

"The Towns & Suburbs" - I guess partly due to NZ being such a young country, some town centres and Auckland suburbs specifically seem to have an industrial estate (containing 1 or 2 huge supermarkets, Auto Warehouse, DIY store and a Warehouse) as the town centre. It reminds us of why we should be supporting local shops in Otley.

"The Scenery" - on the surface the countryside looks very much like the UK. When you look closer, the hills are definately more pointy, the trees more tropical looking and there is certainly more of it.

"British Lions Tour" - the first Kiwi we saw after landing in NZ asked us if we were here for the Lions Tour. People have not stopped asking us that since... I wish I understood rugby.

"Simpsons" - we have actually seen several new (as in new to us) episodes which has been quite a shocker. Perhaps FOX sold one half of all episodes to the UK and the other half to NZ which could explain it. I am sure that is it.

"Rainbows" - very likely to be because of the rain that follows us round, we've seen an unusual amount of rainbows since we got to NZ - sometimes up to 4 a day.

"Ducks" - at many holiday parks we are greeted most mornings by a collection of ducks. Maybe they have been installed especially to wake people up in the morning to ensure they leave by 10am.

"Pedestrian Crossings" - on some crossroads with pedestrian crossings across all 4 sides you are also encouraged to cross diagonally. This makes perfect sense and I am not sure why other countrys don't do it, it was a little confusing at first though.

"Kiwi Fruit" - apparently originated in China not NZ and got renamed Kiwi Fruit by the Americans in the 60s.

"Kia Ora" - I thought it was a soft drink from the 80s but apparently it is also a traditional Maori greeting.

Posted by deb at 11:55 PM | Comments (8)

June 07, 2005


ren & stimpy on our b&w tv !

Posted by robl at 08:29 AM | Comments (0)

June 04, 2005

Horse Play

A few things to update you on this time ... We've made it back to Auckland as we did a flier of a journey down the west coast of the Northland (350+ km's) which we thought that in a van that only has four gears was quite a good achievement ! Before we undertook that lightning run we visited the northern tip of New Zealand - Cape Reinga and got there via the Ninety mile beach. It was an unseasonally sunny day and we went on a tour bus that drove a good way up ninety mile beach where we saw wild horses on the sand dunes (very picturesque) and I showed everyone how to Sand Toboggan (see the picture sequence !) We also visited a restored Gum Diggers park and saw some of the old sink holes they used to dig to retrieve the Gum from the ancient buried Kauri trees. All in all, it was a really enjoyable tour and we're really pleased with the pictures as they have a certain 'moody' quality - have a look and let us know what you think ...

In other news, the masses have spoken and we have a name for our Camper Van - Colin, so when you here us refer to Colin from now on you should realise we are talking about our large four geared friend.

As for our plans next, we're currently looking for second hand snowboards, laptops and we're buying our Snowboarding passes for Cardrona and maybe planning to do this ...

P.S. I've also added captions to the previous set of pictures in North NZ - they'll probably shed some light on the pictures so you might want to have a look at the set again.

[2 Cape Reinga Galleries here and here]

Posted by robl at 04:16 AM | Comments (3)

June 03, 2005


nz answer to alton towers

Posted by robl at 10:54 AM | Comments (4)

June 02, 2005


keep on truckin

Posted by robl at 11:49 PM | Comments (0)


tip of cape reinga

Posted by robl at 11:46 PM | Comments (0)