Emma and John's New Zealand Adventure

Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Monday March 24

Wellington to Napier, nice drive and the longest to date with a stop at a roadside rest stop for lunch. We keep seeing these unique signs for railway crossings. They make us laugh and just had to take a picture.

Even the scenery found at a filling station is lovely.

Scenery at the road side.

We got a super room in Napier over looking the ocean.

Toured the fantastic aquarium.

We searched for and found the house Emma and her family lived in for about 2 years before emigrating to Canada. The guy who bought the houses from Emma's family still owns it and we had a visit with him. Then found the school she attended.

It was a rather full day which we capped of with supper at a pub, a little trip planning, a soak jet tub, and watching the Oscars on the boob tube.

Tuesday March 25

Checked out and hit the road to Taupo. Went for a fabulous Jet boat ride with Huka Jet. Emma and I had a blast getting wet sitting in the back seat of the boat.

Bought some fresh meat pie for lunch, tried to finish up gift purchases. On the road again mid afternoon to Rotorua where we plan to spend two days taking tours etc. We have booked a 2 hour horse back trek tomorrow morning and a tour of Hobbiton Friday morning on our way to Auckland.

Wednesday March 26

Tiring day. Off early for a 2 hour horseback trail ride. We were too early so had tea and a nice chat with one of the managers. The HorseRanch is owned by Thai people and they do a lot of teaching English to Chinese and Japanese people. Off riding, me on Spring, Emma on Cleveland, and our guide on Cam. They were worried about putting me on Spring as I am not an experience rider but I told everyone including Emma not to worry. I wanted us to have a good 2 hour ride and was willing to try and deal with a spirited horse so that the ride could happen.

Emma who is a very experienced and accomplished horse rider/handler gave me a few tips and we were off. Quickly it was apparent that Spring liked to be the lead horse on the trail. As we went along it was apparent that the horses knew the trails. Once we were nicely along the trail our guide warned us that there were paddocks ahead that the horses would want to run in especially up hills as they find it easier. The first time Spring wanted to go I tried to keep my feet solid in the stirups and rein him in some. I was mostly successful as I stayed in the saddle and Spring did not run off wildly. I was very happy about this first non walking experience and Emma and our guide both were happy to see me not end up on the ground.

I think at first they wanted to make this horse my ride for the day.

But I got a real horse (by the name of Spring) instead.

In the afternoon we did a walking tour of the Waiotapu geological area then stopped and took pictures of the of the bubbling mud ponds on the way home.

Me with and without my rain hat.