1 March 2011
From Matamata via
1 March 2011
From Matamata via Mount Maunganui
to Whakatane (Bay Of Plenty).
Tuesday morning 1st March 2011. We are in New Zealand and we stayed the night in the "Double Room" of the Bed & Breakfast "The Southern Belle" that is owned by my friend Sue Nicholson in Matamata in New Zealand.
We take a shower and enjoying our breakfast that was put ready in the Lounge upstairs. After that we're going downstairs and we'll drink coffee with Sue in the garden. Sue shows Karin pictures of her 2008 trip with me.
At 11:45 am we say goodbye to Sue and we drive to the big Supermarket in Matamata. Where we take our time to load our camper with food and supplies for the first days.
It takes a lot of time, this first time in the Supermarket. We have to get used to the packing of the artticles and on the way they placed it in the shop. It's not the way they place it in the Netherlands. I think we've walked through the Supermarket three times in a row before we had all we wanted.
More then one hour later we finaly left Matamata heading to the Eastcoast near Tauranga. The road goes up and down through the hills and we notice how green new Zealand is.
First via Highway 24 and a little later via Highway 29. We pass the big city of Tauranga after about one hour.
The cities in New Zealand are in area much bigger then in the Netherlands because there are very little flats in New Zealand. Alsmost everybody has a house with garden. Anyway it's nice driving through tose cities because there are little roundabouts around the cities. Most of the time youre going through the city itself so you get a good idea of how the cities and its citizens are.
Immediately after Tauranga we drive further to the coast and are entering the peninsula at Mount Maunganui. Mount Maunganui is famous because of the pearl white beaches. the mount itself is only 252 meters above sealevel but it's dominating the peninsula.
From a distance we can see two big Cruise ships that moored in the Harbour of Tauranga, the big city near Maunt Maunganui. When we park our camper on a parking place near these Cruise ships we notice that the first one is a Dutch Cruise ship called the Volendam (named after a small village famous about it's costumes and music in the Netherlands). We make a short stop for making pictures and a first icecream and drive along to the beach. Sun and clouds alternate as we park the camper near the viewpoint of Mount Maunganui. There is a webcam at this viewpoint that can be controlled from your own computer at home.
Webcam Mount Maunganui
We take a short walk over the beach and via the wonderful boulevard and then we see how a waterspout develops; first it's a wirlwind but after a short period it's tocuhing the water and the watersprout is born. There is one boat on the ocean near the watersprout, but the boat stays save. Within 6 minutes the watersprout loses contact with the water and disappears. Immediately the sun is seen again and liife on the beach continues as before, as if nothing happened and I'm sure there were enough people on the beach that didn't even notice this nature phenomenon. Underneath this page I have made a compilation with a few pictures I've taken of this phenomenon.
One and a half hours after arrival we leave the peninsula Mount Maunganui. The first kilometers alongside the boulevard with wonderful views on Papamoa Beach. But then the road leaves the beach and we take Highway 2 heading Whakatane (pronounce as Fuck-a-tane). Via a varied landscape, New Zealand doesn't have other landscapes (haha) we are entering the city of Whakatane after 1,5 hour.
We first drive through the city to the harbour where the bookingoffice is situated for out trip tomorrow. We booked a trip to the active vulcano White Island. They tell us that the weather conditions are expected to be good next day. I'm happy because I planned this too in 2008 and then it was twice cancelled because of to much wind and to heavy sea and the third time that year, 2 weeks later, due to thermal activity that ended in a light earthquake that afternoon. On the quay of the harbour we find a nice eatery and we book a table with view over harbour and ocean for later that evening. We getting money from the ATM and we drive to the Holiday Park and get ourselves a place for the night. Then back to the harbour to our table in "The Warf Shed Restaurant". It was a wonderful dinner and as usual in New Zealand it is'nt expensive in the eyes of us Europeans. At about 21:00 pm we are back on the Holiday Park and take an early sleep. Tomorrow the first adventure of our trip.