Auckland to Rotorua

It’s funny to have to come to a motel in NZ to see our first bit of the Winter Olympics. We can’t get Channel 7 at home so have missed all the action, apart from the headlines on Ch 2 news. So last night when we got to the motel we watched for awhile before sinking into the beautiful bed at the Bucklands Beach Motel.


Feeling refreshed we woke to brilliant blue skies and warm temperatures, so set off around the bay towards the Marina for breakfast. Such a lovely walk passing the fit, the fast on cycles, the strollers, the standup paddle boarders and a few swimmers in the bay.
We reached the Marina with a big collection of yachts with the usual assortment of funny names.
Realising we wouldn’t make it back to the motel for our pick up by the Wilsons and Parkers we sent out an SOS to come to the Marina. It really was an SOS because on arrival in NZ I haven’t been able to get a carrier to get phone reception. I can get onto wifi though –  so fortunately could send a message via whatsapp.
They collected us, we picked up our luggage and we were on our way in convoy towards Rotorua.
It’s such a pretty drive. NZ really has such lush green rolling hills and mountains.
You can see how much rain they have had.
We stopped for lunch near Hobbiton House in Matamata. A lovely little town.

Then another hour and we arrived in Rotorua.

First impressions. Yes a little smelly but not overpowering!
Lovely big trees down the Main Streets. Spa baths scattered around the town and some really lovely buildings. And lots of timber. The areas surrounding here are heavily treed so there’s no shortage of timber.

We walked to the lake, past the Museum which is closed due to renovations, strolled past statues to famous New Zealanders (not Rugby players)

We even saw the black swans.


Dinner was at the Brew Bar – one of the lively places lining the Street called Eat St.

Ear Street

Kim, David and Steve on the hunt for a good wine!

Its a great place full of bars and restaurants and is loud and noisy and has an array of craft beers and good NZ wines.

Not wanting to have a big night before our swim we strolled back to our hotel and drew the curtains trying to keep the sulphate smell outside.

Tomorrow morning we’ll visit the Living Maori  Village and check out the geysers before heading to the Blue Lake to see David finish his 3.5 km Swim, and then wait for my Swim to take off at 1.30.

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