New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud..

A cloud, a cloud, a white cloud…a long white cloud!”

This saying is attributed to Kuramarotini, a wife of the legendary Pacific voyager Kupe, on first sighting New Zealand.

On a sunny February day, we flew into the North Island of New Zealand, and Paul took this lovely photo of our first glimpse of the long white cloud.

New Zealand is a three hour flight from Canberra, Australia…it is closer to us than many parts of Australia.

The landscape is a little like Scotland, or perhaps some parts of Europe….far far removed from the Australian landscapes.

Aussies are well known for thinking hills are mountains..

We are visiting the North Island of New Zealand for our 40th wedding anniversary (amazing really….and still so young!).

As we landed in Wellington (the capital of New Zealand) we faced the tail end of a cyclone, which had earlier devastated the Pacific Island of Tonga.

However, like most potential problems in life it turned out to be less dramatic than expected.

I will do a post on the interesting capital city of Wellington, but first,  our absolute favourite part of the holiday, a visit to Lake Taupo.

This lake (impossible to fit into one photo) was created 2 thousand years ago by a volcanic eruption so big there were recordings of it as darkening skies at that time in Europe and China. It is now the biggest lake in Australasia, and roughly the size of Singapore!

Today it is a holiday place for many tourists and locals alike…….many wanting action packed and active holidays, skydiving, jet boat riding, white water rafting…

……we opted for a quiet southern end of the lake….  this is the view from our self-contained accommodation. Absolutely stunning view of the lake and not a jet boat in sight!

We are close to Tongariro National Park,  and Mount Ruapehu….

New Zealand’s summer is at its peak in February, and during this time, many European walkers come to New Zealand  to do the most popular all day walk, the Tongariro Alpine Crossing…(perhaps some are just coming to escape the winter!)

We did a shorter very beautiful walk to a waterfall….

No wonder this area, along with other parts of New Zealand were filming sites for The Lord of the Rings trilogy…

Our reward was late morning tea/coffee in the Chateau Tongariro ….a reminder of genteel bygone days.

New Zealand is the land of rich and wonderful dairy produce…the cream  (and ice cream) is delicious!

On our last evening we decided to have a meal sitting on our lovely deck, looking at the sunset..

I’ve never seen so many black swans in one place….they fitted into the landscape perfectly…

Across the river was a small Maori village, with an elegant small church steeple just slightly in view. It was Sunday, and the local choir came and stood by the water, facing the church, as they sang most beautifully…..

We had smoked salmon, fresh baked potatoes and salad, locally baked bread, and some of New Zealand’s lovely wine….and our own choir..

A day to be remembered…

Copyright Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved

 

 

29 thoughts on “New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud..

  1. Susan Hutton

    Oh, wow!!!! J lived in New Zealand for 12 years in the 60s and 70s and often went to Lake Taupo and the nearby National Park so it was heart warming to see your excellent pictures and read your text. I was transported back 50 years, wonderful.

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      I’m so glad you were able to go for a trip down memory lane to Lake Taupo…New Zealand is such a lovely country, and the Lake Taupo area would have been quite untouched in the 60s and 70s….as it still is in most ways. Hope you are keeping out of the snow..!

      Reply
    2. germac4 Post author

      I’m so glad you were able to go for a trip down memory lane to Lake Taupo…New Zealand is such a lovely country, and the Lake Taupo area would have been quite untouched in the 60s and 70s….as it still is in most ways. Hope you are keeping out of the snow..!

      Reply
  2. rusty duck

    What a gorgeous place to stay. Yes, the Europeans will definitely be there to escape the winter, this year most of all. The landscape looks incredible too. A belated Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Yes .. I did think the Euroean visitors had chosen just the right month! Thanks for the anniversary wishes.

      Reply
  3. Theresa Higgins

    You certainly know how to paint a picture, Geraldine. Felt as if I was there tasting those scones & soaking up the singing.

    Reply
  4. Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

    Happy Anniversary and many more. 🙂 What an amazing trip. I’ve never been to New Zealand and probably won’t get a chance so I appreciate your sharing this wonderful adventure. Gorgeous scenery, and I’ve never seen a black swan so that was interesting as well. Beautiful.

    Reply
  5. Sylvia

    What a wonderful way to celebrate your 40th, Gerrie. Congratulations to you both. Lovely photos of your memorable trip. It looks so relaxing and beautiful. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Laurie Graves

    First of all, happy, happy anniversary! What a grand way to celebrate. Second, those pictures! What a beautiful place. I want to go! Third, thanks so much for sharing. A lovely way to travel from my desk chair, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing more pictures of your travels, and, of course, reading about. I am all agog about the size of that lake. Massive, that’s for sure. Finally, now we now what Middle Earth looks like. 😉

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Thanks Laurie, and I’m pleased you can enjoy New Zealand from your desk chair, one of the lovely parts of blogging. And Middle Earth is certainly recognisable in NZ.

      Reply
  7. Jason

    Congratulations on 40 years! And what a magical place to celebrate an anniversary. Lush greenery, deep blue waters, and majestic mountains. Definitely a place for special memories.

    Reply
  8. Sarah

    Amazing that New Zealand is closer than parts of Australia. Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary , you chose a fantastic location to stay! It must have been so magical hearing the singing from across the water! Sarah x

    Reply
  9. pommepal

    Congratulations for your anniversary and what a magical place to celebrate it. Your description of the meal and a private choir gave me goose bumps a magical memory to treasure. I love NZ I lived there almost 40 years and consider it my home country (though I was born in UK) I still have 2 offspring over there so have an excuse to visit regularly. Beautiful photos you have of the land of the long white cloud. Is this your first visit?

    Reply
    1. germac4 Post author

      Thank you! I had only been to the North Island as a university student. Lovely for you to have the link of your children bringing you back to New Zealand, a beautiful and friendly country.

      Reply

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