• The third stage on my Round the World Trip. I flew in from Australia.
  • We stayed with Raye’s brother and his family in Auckland - City of Sails
  • We went cart racing and ended up sitting in the stands and drinking with the Australian rugby team who were scheduled to play New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup the following day. The Kiwis won - by a small margin. It wasn’t the best match ever. There weren't any tries.

Bay of Islands

  • We drove up to the Bay of Islands – not so turquoise in the winter


  • And onto Waitangi, a must-see to learn about Maori culture.
  • Then south from Auckland, past Hamilton, the only notable industrial part of the country. Otherwise, it’s very quiet and sleepy. The weather is mild and the skyline is dotted with the ubiquitous and characteristic palm like tree ferns. They remind me of Jurassic Park.


  • One highlight en route is the Agrodome, where there are shows for tourists to learn about sheep and sheep shearing. It was extremely amusing. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not.


  • Rotarua is another mandatory stop in New Zealand. The geysers are prolific, exhilarating and stink of sulphur. As in most of these volcanic sites you can stand at the Gates of Hell watching pools steam and mud bubbling. Most of the motels here have hot spring fed Jacuzzis out back of each room.

Next stop Hawaii.

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