New Zealand Sept 2017

Castlepoint, Mt. Ruapehu, Hobbiton, Orakei Karako, and an important family gathering.
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Arrived in New Zealand
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Spring, trees sprouting new leaves, and a RAV4 to get around.
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Space and gardens.
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The tranquility of (small) farm life.
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Meeting the locals.
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Breakfast time.
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Watermill Bakery, Norfolk Road, near Masterton, New Zealand. Miles from anywhere, and only open Friday evenings, but this place is magic.
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Watermill Bakery, Norfolk Road, near Masterton, New Zealand. Complementary home made cider.
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Had a lot of adventures here in my childhood. And it is still awesome today.
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We are at the beach. Why is it cold?
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How big?
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Castlepoint lighthouse.
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Photographer
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Castlepoint smiles 1
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Castlepoint smiles 2
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Castlepoint
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Fossils!
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A long way down
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What's for lunch?
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Fish and chips at the beach.
...with the seagulls. Castlepoint.
Castlepoint beach looking towards Whakataki and Mataikona.
Toasting marshmallows. A real campfire was the ideal, but given the temperatures outside, the compromise was more than acceptable...
...and tasted good!
The primary reason for the New Zealand trip... celebrating 60 years of marriage. Her is my mother and her family on her wedding day in 1957.
Fast forward to 2017... the guests of honour.
Obligatory family photos: the siblings
Obligatory family photos: not sure what the issue was.
Obligatory family photos: Parents, siblings, and a distraction.
Obligatory family photos: Grandchildren, some more cooperative that others
Obligatory family photos: the everyone shot.
Diamond party: Lily, Susan, and Jeff.
Diamond party: cousins.
Diamond party: Annette and Jim.
Diamond party: Reminiscences
Diamond party: Photo opportunities
Diamond party: Uyen and Annette
A totara (redwood) tree that should never have been felled. Ohakune.
The old and the new.
I assume Ohakune is famous for growing carrots.
Tongariro National Park. Mt Ngauruhoe (Mt Doom) in the background.
Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu: first snow experience.
Whakapapa, Mt Ruapehu: perfect weather.

Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: "I want to go skiing!"

Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: ski-less skiing.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: heading down the mountain.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: The Skotel Resort. So much like the Great Northern (in Twin Peaks).
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: view from the hotel.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: alpine foliage in the late afternoon sun.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: early morning walk through the beech forest.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: early morning walk through the beech forest.
Whakapapa, My Ruapehu: early morning walk with views.
Hobbiton: Family shot.
Hobbiton

Hobbiton: Bag end - Bilbo's place.

Hobbiton: for the birds.
Hobbiton: attention to detail was impressive.
Hobbiton: detail, even the hobbit clothes on the clothes line.
Taupo area: the weather turned.
Taupo area: Huka falls
Taupo area: prawn fishing
Taupo area: observing prawns.
Taupo area: eating prawns
Orakei Karako: the most beautiful and least touristy geothermal are in New Zealand.
Orakei Karako: follow the signs.
Orakei Karako: deposits.
Orakei Karako: looks scary that way.
Orakei Karako: Ferns 1
Orakei Karako: fantail
Orakei Karako: a stroll in the forest
Orakei Karako: ferns 2
Orakei Karako: lichen 2
Hobbiton: fish smoking facility.
Version 2
Orakei Karako: lichen 1
Newly purchased versatile hair tie
It was odd to see a coffee shop in Waiouru named after a significant feature closer to home. Turns out Cambodians make great pies.
David's garden.
Running haunts from long ago.
A picture of a picture, but a valley I spent a lot of time running in a few decades ago.
A wind energy viability test which became a Wellington landmark.
Wellington south coast
Wellington harbour on a cold spring day.

Views - the advantage of living in a city built on hills.

Zealandia, upper dam: Jeff and Susan
Zealandia, upper dam: long way down.
Zealandia, upper dam: bird watching
Zealandia, upper dam: family shot
Zealandia, regenerating native forest.
Zealandia, upper dam: making friends
Imagining a ride on the old Wellington Cable Car.
Te Papa
Te Papa
Te Papa: World War 1 exhibition. This is one of a number of twice life size models of soldiers created by Weta Workshop (think Peter Jackson, Lord of the Rings). Incredible attention to detail.
Te Papa: World War 1 exhibition. Incredible attention to detail.
Te Papa: A bow figurehead from a Maori canoe.
Indian food get together
Weta Cave
Weta Cave
Lyall Bay from the Airport Motel.
Wellington airport, starting the journey home.