Thursday, March 22, 2018

Taupo, Acacia Bay

Hi there

I like Lake Taupo.  Last month I suddenly decided to go there for a few days and within one hour I had packed up and left the house.  Taupo is halfway up the North Island of New Zealand, about half a dozen hours' driving (well, my driving, anyway) from Wellington.

I discovered this lovely little cafe called L'Arte Cafe and Gallery.  Its about a ten minute drive from the bridge at the edge of Taupo township.  The cafe has a garden full of ceramic ornamental art flowers and ornaments, the likes of which can be purchased -

On the way to the cafe I stopped off and had a swim at Acacia Bay -

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Public Toilet Signs

Hi there

I love signs in toilets.  I showed you that glorious one in Geraldine when I was travelling through there in the summer of 2017.  Now, here's another sign I discovered on my travels last month. -

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kaiteriteri, Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand

Hi there

above: taken from balcony at my upgrade apartment.

I spent a week at Kaiteriteri Beach, on the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park at the top of the South Island of New Zealand.  Unfortunately one day before I left for my holiday I came up with flu/cold/virus/what-have-you that lasted the entire week.

I sniffled, snuffled, sneezed, coughed my way around the place.  I felt so ill, but my holiday was costing so much, I was darned if I wasnt going to do all the things I'd planned on doing.  I forced myself to hike, swim, boat.  Hiking was a bit horrendous as I only had one good eye.  The sea temperature was 21c which was great.  From a boat I saw orca and a baby seal.

I was staying in an en suite cabin at the Kaiteriteri Reserve Holiday Park.  My cabin was about a thirty second walk to the sea.  I loved that en suite cabin.  It had a back and front door, a deck, tv, linen and cleaning provided.

There was a mix up with bookings so on the very last night I was tranferred to a very (very) posh apartment that overlooked the beach and was about a 10 second walk away from the sea.

Kaiteriteri Beach is the leaving point for boat trips up and down the Abel Tasman National Park coastline, stopping passengers off at various places so they can hike or swim for a few hours and be picked up at a different beach later in the day, or at the same beach.

There is nothing really at Kaiteriteri Beach except for a tiny Four Square supermarket and two restaurants.  There are rental houses and lodges dotted around but none as close to the sea as the holiday park.

 above:  the restaurant, "Kai",  (Kai is food in Maori) at Kaiteriteri Beach.

The views in and around the National Park are so beautiful.

above:  My Kaiteriteri Reserve upgrade unit was the upstairs front one.  These apartments are directly across the road from the beach.  The holiday park proper where I had an en suite unit was directly to the right as you look at the photo.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Nelson Airport

Hi there

I've just returned from a week's holiday (yes, yes, another holiday!).  This time I went to Kaiteriteri , at the edge of the Abel Tasman National Park, at the top of the South Island of New Zealand.  And there will be more about this holiday In a follow-up blog.

But today I'm venting my spleen over the Nelson Airport cafe.

There are probably about fifty tables in the open plan cafe.  I stood there, yesterday,  clutching in one hand my plate with its cheese and ham filled bread roll and, in the other hand, my glass of water.

Umm ... where to sit?  Every table was full.  But, hold on ...  I peered intently.  There was not one table where people were actually eating.  Nobody had cups in front of them.  I saw dozens of laptops and phones.  Family groups were chatting.  Luggage had been dumped at a few empty tables (the SWAT team would be instantly here if this were America.  Even in Wellington, the area would be roped off.  Eventually.)

I was in such a terrible mood, what with my ninth day of the flu and, yes, more about my flu later. 

I complained about the lack of seating for cafe customers.  After a long conversation the cafe manager condensed all her talk down to "it's what people do".  She saw no reason for my flu-ridden demented giggling when she said that people had to use the tables for their laptops, even when I pointed out that there were dozens of empty chairs in the foyer and what did the word LAPtop actually mean?

In the end I plonked angrily down at a luggage-strewn table, just as a guy appeared from somewhere, obviously highly indignant over my intrusion at his table and my sneezing, sniffling, and coughing seemed to annoy him a tad too.

Come on Nelson Airport, label at least half-a-dozen tables for the use of cafe customers only.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Chinese New Year

Hi there

It was Chinese New Year when I was in Queenstown.  So many happy celebrants in the town, it was hard to move.  I couldnt get a car park on the actual night.

I would say, at all times, there are more Asian and American tourists than New Zealanders walking around Queenstown.  The price for Queenstown accommodation is all but out of range for kiwis.  The cheapest motel night I could find was NZ$285.  I'm lucky in that my health insurance company has cheap holiday homes around the country.

The ANZ bank likes celebrations. Here's a pic of last week's Wellington ATM -

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Naughty Dog

Hi there
I was standing at a bus stop in Queenstown,  A young guy came along with a dog.  He leashed the dog to a tear-drop advertising flag outside the Salvation Army charity clothing shop.   The dog whimpered at this outrage.

The guy went into the shop.  The dog tried to follow his master inside.  And do you know what?  The dog succeeded!  Pulling the flag behind him.

Everyone at the bus stop held their breath as the top of the flag got wedged under the ridge at the top of the doorway.

But no - with a loud grating sound - the dog, his leash, the flag, the base of the flag all disappeared inside the shop!


Just in case my readers don't know what a tear-drop flag is ...  here's a pic of one that's in Miramar, opposite our Roxy Theatre.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

more Queenstown holiday

Hi there

Here are more views of my Queenstown holiday.

Below:  the wharf area in Queenstown.  Taken through the window at Prime restaurant -

Below:  daytime view from my Queenstown balcony. 

Below:  one of many great views from Mou Waho Island in the middle of Lake Wanaka:

Wanaka is about an hour and a half drive from Queenstown.