What an adventure it has been to travel around this magical country! We have had spotty access to internet so I going back a few days to touch on our ferry ride to the town of Devonport just Northeast of Auckland. It was a wonderful bay town that reminded me of Mackinac Island off of the northeast coast of Michigan. I had no idea that they would have a plethora of Arts & Crafts cottages that reflect our favorite architecture. In order to walk to see some of them, we had to walk up a very steep hill. The kids were not as up to the task and befriended a cat near a bench on the climb. While they got their feline fix, Bill and I went off for an architecture fix.
The cottages were adorable and had great views of the Auckland port and harbors. The British influence is evidenced in the shingle style architecture with the exposed rafter tails, interesting mullion patterns and wide gables…they made my heart sing. If only there was a way I could be there to spend a day doing open houses, I would be insanely happy!!
As we packed up and left Auckland, Bill blogged about our adventures driving through the Coromandel peninsula. I must admit, this is when my heart really felt that we were taking the most magical trip of a lifetime. Fiji was a wonderful launch point and felt like a much needed vacation. The city of Auckland was a wonderful stop as well, although with summer holidays in full force, much of Auckland was closed.
Hopping in our rental with Bill manning the steering wheel on a “different” side of the car and leaving the city behind us…left us with a very loose agenda and exploring to do. Very quickly as we left Auckland behind us, the beauty of NZ opened up. We chatted about how we both had thought over the years that a trip to NZ and Australia was a dream that would always be out of reach.
It was a trip that would take an unusually long vacation commitment and a large amount of good old American cash. Now that we are here, it is obvious that doing both countries in two or three weeks would not be worthy and would leave one exhausted and disappointed.
To be here knowing that we are actually not only in New Zealand for a month but also spending a month in Australia brings tears to my eyes as I write this. We are so grateful for the opportunity, courage, luck, and spiritual support of this adventure. We know we are truly blessed.
OK….so one request, could Father Sky and Mother Earth maybe bring out the sunshine? We are in the vacationing area of Rotorura and have been told that this is the rainiest season in 65 years! Despite the constant drizzle, we got out and about today….got the family putt-putt contest in where Bill has a measured consistency but I kept the family title by scoring two aces to give my inconsistent putting another day on the family putt-putt leader board.
We also went to a preserve where we got to see plant and animal life of NZ. The highlight was being able to actually see the Kiwi bird. This endangered bird that is unable to fly and actually burrows into the ground for nesting won all of our hearts. Ben and Marley added one small stuffed Kiwi to our family and named her Waku.
Tomorrow, we head to an “Art Deco” crafted town called Napier. There is a unique history to their Art Deco nature we can share on other posts.
We are going to be there for 4 days so it will give us the chance to settle in a bit and get familiar with an area like we did Auckland. We are trying to strike the balance between daily nomadic moves and longer stays. We are a good traveling team….thanks for reading along!!