Thursday, January 28, 2010


These were meant to a gift for a certain 5year old, but they ended up coming back home with me.

Pretty, pretty.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

A map

This is Auckland, this is where I live!


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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rotorua Close Up



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

FloJo’s B’nB Rotorua

We stayed at FloJo’s bed and breakfast in Rotorua. What a charming spot! As with all internet bookings you don’t know what you are going to get and often the pretty pictures supplied on the website can be very misleading. But this was no disappointment at all.

Our hosts Floss and John were superb. Full of information about the town and recommendations on where the best eating and activities could be found. John even gave us a personal tour of the town on the day that we checked in. Great for orientation and to kick start your adventuring. Our yummy daily breakfast was served up regardless of our varying time requests.

The cottage and garden were filled with colourful bits and pieces from all over the world (even a mini beaded SA flag which was quite cool for us!). A vegetable garden sits round the corner and Dora the cat skulks around keeping an eye on you. Benches and table &chair sets around the garden invite you to take advantage of the fresh air. Many hours were spent happily reading a book in the garden.

A beautiful spot only a couple of kilometres from the centre of town. Will happily go back there again for the great service and to have another long chat with the friendly hosts.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

7 days in Rotorua

Rotorua is in the lake district of NZ (16 lakes in the area) and within a volcanic geothermal belt. Some of the best hiking and mountain biking in the world on offer here. Here’s the superfast outline of our trip – some detailed bits to follow in time…


Fly from Auckland to Rotorua in the smallest plane I’ve ever been on. 40minute flight sure beats the 3.5 hour drive.

Breakfast in town after a visit to bike shop Bike Vegas (great suppliers of info, maps and gear). Checked into Flojo’s B’nB. John (of Flossie and John) took us for a quick tour around Rotorua town to point out the main landmarks and good places to eat.

A trip to the Redwoods Info Centre. Up a gondola and down the luge track three times.

Into town and dinner at one of the restaurants in ‘Eat Street’.



Rainy morning so planned bike riding and hiking is put on hold. Lovely breakfast in the home of Floss and John.

Visit the Rotorua Museum.

Afternoon hike along the tracks of Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

Supper at Hennessey's Irish Bar – superb fare!



Up early for a morning of mountain biking for Ryan and walking for me. 

Late lunch at Ephesus – wonderful Mediterranean food.

Visit to the Whakarewarewa Thermal Village.

Picnic at side of lake Rotorua.



Shorter hike and mountain biking morning.

Brunch at Urbano – very upmarket and yummy.

Back to Whakarewarewa Thermal Village to walk around the hills of their property.

Strawberries, cherries and champagne for late lunch.

Supper 1 – sushi. Supper 2 – Greek meze.



Nice sleep in. Breakfast with Floss and John.

Drive to Okere Village and coffee with superb blueberry pancakes at the Okere Falls Store.

Rafting along the Kaituna river – down a 7m waterfall! Crazy nuts.

Walk around the ‘Blue Lake’ – Lake Tikitapu

Pizza at Papa Luigis for supper.



Relaxed day after feeling – ‘activity-d out’. Stuck in our books for the morning.

Coffee and muffins in town.

Watched ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’.

Good curry at Indian Star for supper.


Ryan catches the early morning flight back to Auckland.

I do two hiking trails through the Redwood Forest and Phakarewarewa forest.

Catch the afternoon flight back to Auckland.