woensdag 25 november 2009

The last part of my blog was about the waterfall at the burried village.

Ankie in hotpool in Waitake

Tawahi falls

Visiting the three Volcano's we made a hike to the Tawahi falls. Here you can see Ankie near the water.

Waimangui Valley

In the Waimangui Valley there are all sorts of volcanic sights. Steaming holes, little geysers, bubbling mud pools.

Helicopter near Mount Rahapehu

When we visited the three volcano's on the North Island we arrived at a ski village called Iwikau.
A helicopter was moving all kinds of construction materials from one place to another.

Active volcano on North Island

This is one of the three active volcano's on the North Island of New Zealand.
The mountain is so high that it's summit is in the clouds (clierwds).

Kiwi with Egg

Here you see a Kiwi (with egg).
The Kiwi is New Zealand's best known bird and since it is a night bird, you can only see it at night and...................it can't fly and it's sight is very bad and that's why it can't fly in the dark because otherwise it would fly into anything at once.
That's why.

On the road

When we driving around the North Island you can see these kind of mountains; all rather young volcanic mountains.
Today is 26th. November 2009.
We are not sure whether it is Wednesday or Thursday. We have no newspaper or something else to look what is the exact day today (I am writing this off line).
I know now; it is Thursday. (Dat was even schrikken).

Yesterday we were in the neighborhood of Rotorua, a well known place for:
- its Lake
- thermal baths
- scenic lookouts (you’ll find these everywhere)
- hot water springs
- steaming cliffs
- the famous “White and Pink terraces” destroyed in 1886 as consequence
of an eruption of Mount Tarawera (height nowadays 1111 meters)
- the “Buried Village” about which more later.

We camped in a place called Waitake, a camping with hot pools.
The camping was a nonety but the pools were nice (mostly 38 degrees C) and we lay in them all. No swimming, just sitting around in the nice hot water. But I wrote that already yesterday.

The “buried village” (I called it yesterday “ the hidden village by mistake”) was called “Te Wairoa” and I don’t know the reason.
In the same eruption of Mount Tarawera of 1886, this village was smothered under lava, hot ashes, rocks, etc. and some people died.
Nowadays there is a small hike through the diggings of this buried village and it looked like the Chinese gold digging village we visited a week ago on the South Island.
The difference was that lots of artifacts and utensils were grey (from being buried for a long time under ashes of the eruption) in this village and in the other village they were just rusted.
There was a waterfall too and I filmed that one.
But very interesting, of course like most of the events, functions, reserves, lookouts, parks, views here in New Zealand, and we were very, very happy that we didn’t miss this very interesting site.
The New Zealanders know exactly how to attract tourists.

Last night we camped in a place called Whangamata.
It has a beach with rather large waves and some guys were surfing and now and then they succeeded in surfing and that was nice to see.
The beach was very clean and the weather really nice, so we stayed for a few hours on this beach but we didn’t swim (much to cold).

Today we would visited one of THE tourist attractions near the city of Coromandel (well known to the New Zealanders as a historic gold town). It concerns a railway (with a very small track like the rails are only 50 cm’s apart) of not less than 3 Km’s with lots of turns, tunnels (2 but 4 of you go back the same way!! which you have to, otherwise you have to walk down the mountain), bridges, wissels (I don’t know the English name, but I know the “wisselwachter” in German which is: Reichseisenbahnknotenpunkthinundherschieber) and lots of interesting things like:
- pottery along the track (the builder of the railway has a pottery as well),
- empty bottles as walls to keep the earth from burying the track,
- all kinds of rusted iron tools along the track,
- signs with names of trees (Kauri*, Muri, etc.)
- little station buildings built by the potter himself,
- a lookout tower which is called the “Eifeltower” and here too I don’t see
the reason and it does not look like the Eifeltower at all,
- etc.

* About the Kauri I could tell you some stories but I don’t.

After this awesome view in the life of a potter we set for the camping where we are now. We are in a place called Hot Water Beach near a place called Hahei. Hahei is well known for its Cathedral Cove, which we are going to visit tomorrow.
Well, you already understood that there is hot water on the beach.
When it is low tide and you dig holes in the beach near the waterline, water of about 60 degrees C erupts and mixing it with seawater, it should be:
- nice (if not to hot or to cold)
- very healthy because the water contains all sorts of very healthy
minerals like (salt, calcium and all other sorts of very healthy minerals).

The weather is nice today although we have lots of wind (I have never visited a country with so much wind and with so much sheep).
For people who love sheep this must be really heaven, especially the South Island.
Today is Tuesday, 24th. November.
We are in Waitike.
Waitike is well known for its thermal spring, the Waitike Thermal Spring.
But…….about this hotspring later.
First , when we were on the road from where we were the day before yesterday (that was in Wanganui, a dead holiday village on a beach with black sand en nothing more on the south west coast of the North Island of New Zealand; so that you understand where we were) to Motutere on Lake Taupo, there were some things I have to mention:
- no sheep (for people who love sheep, the North Island is certainly not
heaven, compared to the South Island which is really heaven for people
who do love sheep),
- three volcanos (still working) although the last eruption was - as far as
I know - in 1995 (the names of the volcano’s: Mount Ruapehu 2797
meter high, Mount Engauruhoe 2291 meter high - both with their
summits in the cliewrds – and another one of which I can’t remember
the name but not high enough to have its summit in the cliewrds)
- an iron train bridge - The Makatote Viaduct - (a bridge over the river
Kwai look a like) which collapsed during Christmas eve in 1953 during
an earthquake leaving about 150 people dead
- Iwikau village, a ski village, without snow (it’s supposed to be spring or
almost summer over here) and I must say, without much hope for snow
the next winter because of all the snow machines we saw.
This village lies in the Tongariro National Park (the first National park
in New Zealand).
Since there is no snow, the village was dead apart from a helicopter
which was moving construction materials from one place to another.
- the Grand Chateau (something like the large hotel near Lake Louise),
- a hike to a waterfall (Tawahi falls).

After this eventful journey we arrived in Motutere, a place on lake Taupo.
The weather was fine and we sat on the lakeside in the sun, drinking, eating and reading our books (after I did my chores, waste water, tanking water, etc. and cleaning the toilet). We also had a new roll of toiletpaper.

We slept well and this morning and we set for Waitike.
During our trip today we visited the Huka Waterfalls in Taupo, the Waimangui Thermal Valley (lots of hot springs and steam and the stink of rotten eggs), the Moon Crater National Scenic, Geothermal, wildlife and heritage Park (with steam out of fissures in the ground and a mud - bubbling - crater) and lots of other things like waterfalls, scenic lookouts, historic places and Maori whatever’s.

And in the end of the day (it was 15.00 hours) we found this camping with thermal pools, springs and spa.
The water is about 38 degrees and it’s nice to lay in the sun in such a pool.
Ankie did some laundry and we cleaned the campervan.

Now it is past nine and I am going to end this story of today and yesterday.
When you read this it will be Wednesday (no internet here in Waitike but they have sheep. (For people who love sheep, etc. etc).

All is well with us.
Tomorrow we will visit Rotorua with near by “the hidden city” a New Zealand Pompei but then here in New Zealand.
And after Rotorua (we will buy groceries there, I hope) we will drive to Waihi on the east coast of the North Island.