Vintage Cars and Volcanoes

My journey around New Zealand continues to delight me. It’s a country with a population around five million yet covers the same land mass as England. Why more people don’t live here I don’t understand. If I was to relocate anywhere in the world it would be here and I even know the town I would move to. Napier.

It’s just beautiful. A long promenade with the Pacific Ocean on one side and lovely shops and cafes on the other. The Six Sisters coffee shop is worthy of note.
Behind this promenade is a fabulous town with Art Deco buildings along each street. Each year they have a special week to celebrate these buildings and period where locals dress up in vintage clothing from that era and the streets are full of vintage cars as well. I’d love it. If you ever make it to NZ visit Napier.

We sailed from there at 2pm and arrived this morning in Tauranga. It’s located in the Bay of Plenty in the North Island. The ship docked in Mount Maunganui, a beautiful beach town with hot saltwater pools and an extinct volcano of the same name which I walked around with stunning views out to sea. (See pic) The active volcano White Island which was tragically in the news recently is out to sea via boat or helicopter.

Everyone is aware of the dangers of Tsunamis and warnings and escape routes are well marked. Again the beachfront is well served with cafes and restaurants and the laid back lifestyle is evident on every street.

We set sail tonight for Auckland arriving on Sunday morning where I leave this particular ship (Maasdam) and overnight there before joining another Holland America ship- the Amsterdam, for the next week which will take me over to Australia.

I’ll keep you posted.

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