Arrived in Wellington early and headed to the Te Papa museum which celebrates everything 'NZ'. We particularly enjoyed the '70's' exhibition as it bought back some very fond childhood memories - Mrs. P was taken aback by a knitted wall hanging similar to one her Mum once had and Mr. P went all do'lally over the six million dollar man action figure they had displayed.
Mooched around, visited the Beehive which is the parliamentary building and Old St Paul's Cathedral. Headed up the 'hill' in the cable car and managed to get on an Ozzie TV show which was filming in the cable car. Mr. P was very interested in what was being filmed and asked lots of questions about the show and when it would be on air - unfortunately he timed each question for when the cameras where rolling and the presenter was supposed to be delivering his lines! The lengths some people will go to, to get on TV!
Although it's the capital of NZ - that's about it for Wellington so we headed up country to Napier which is full of lovely examples of art deco architecture after it was completely rebuilt in the late 1920's following an earthquake.
Next up was Lake Taupo which was a really pretty part of the world. On arrival the town was swamped with 'Ironmen' and Mr. P was gutted to find out he'd missed the start of the Taupo Iron Man contest which comprised of a 4.2km swim, 180km bike ride and a marathon to finish them off! (not the chocolate bar but a 42km run). All day the stupid nutters where running past our campsite! We headed into town for dinner that night and it was like night of the living dead with all the contestants hobbling around.
Next day Mr. P went out to 'Rockin Ropes' which is a huge aerial assault course. If he could just get through the "trapeze" the rest "was down hill" or so he thought. The final obstacle was the rope swing and not the zip wire as he'd imagined. His face was a picture when he was standing at the top of the 30m platform waiting to launch himself off.
Post adrenaline something more subdues was required so we headed out to do a spot of fly fishing. This was most agreeable, and Mr. P. started of his trout tally with 2 rainbows.
With a new hobby under our belts we headed up to Rotorua for some more fly-fishing - tally increased by another three. Mr. P then went off mountain biking for the morning whilst Mrs. P checked herself into the Polynesian Spa for a drop of R&R. Before heading out of Rotorua Mr. P had time for one last adrenalin fix and headed out on a rafting trip that took him over a 7m high waterfall! The largest drop a commercial company rafts in the world.
After taking in a few delightful and sleepy towns enroute we ended up in the Bay of Islands where we headed out for a days Marlin fishing. Drove up to the most Northerly point in NZ and then headed back down to Auckland which is where we are now.
We fly to LA later today for a few days with Mrs. P's eldest brother. And then........we hit the slopes in Breckenridge for a month!!!! Yeeeehaaaaaa!!!! Don't expect much in the way of journal entries over the next month as we'll either be snowboarding or recovering from snowboarding!
PS - Check back on the last three messages for new piccies