Robin's Adventures

Australia & New Zealand 2012
Robin & Steve's Adventures Down Under

Waitomo Glow Worm Cave

Spent the day traveling through the beautiful New Zealand countryside from Rotorua to Auckland. Our late morning stop was at the Waitomo glowworm caves.

The first part of the cave was a traditional cave with stalactites and stalagmites. Then we boarded a small boat on the river that went through the cave. As we moved along the river, we could see the glowworm threads hanging from the walls and ceiling. It almost looked like bright stars against a dark sky.

Glowworms, which are really insect larvae, attach to rock and send out tiny threads that they use to catch other insects. They use bioluminescence to make the threads glow to attract their prey.

Roselands Farm

Our lunch stop was at a delightful little farm. We strolled through the gardens while our meal was cooking on the BBQ. After lunch we saw an angora rabbit being sheared and we meet some of the farm animals. Then we continued our drive through the beautiful countryside to Auckland.

Last Stop - Auckland

We checked out the view of Auckland's skyline from high atop Mt Victoria. There was an old caldera (collapsed volcanic crater) there. The city of Auckland is actually built atop 48 dormant volcanic cones. One of the big guns in front of the war museum captured Steve's attention.

Wintergarden Botanic Garden

We enjoyed the beautiful floral displays at Wintergarden botanic garden.

Narrow Neck Beach

Enjoyed looking at all of the volcanic rock as we strolled along narrow neck beach.

Arataki Nature Centre

The Maori totem carving on the front of the nature center is carved from the wood of a kauri tree. The kauri is an ancient species of coniferous tree. They grow to be very large like the giant sequoias in California. The kauri has flaking bark that helps it protect itself from parasitic plants and vines that may want to grow up the trunk.

The silver fern in the last photo is the national emblem of New Zealand. It grows as a medium sized tree. The underside of the leaf is a silver-white color, giving the fern its name.

Karekare Beach

Karekare beach was a delightful place to take a stroll in a very peaceful setting. It is a beautiful black sand beach surrounded by bluffs.

Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Enjoyed a delightful hike through Waitakere Ranges Regional Park. Our guide pointed out giant kauri trees that were as big as giant sequoias. He also showed us some tiny sprouts that had come from kauri seeds.

One part of the trail had a boardwalk that was surrounded by silver tree ferns. Our outing in the park was a nice way to spend our last full day in Auckland.

Auckland Skytower

Our last night in Auckland we had dinner in a revolving dining room on the 54th floor of the Skytower. As we ate, the dining room slowly rotated so we got beautiful views of Auckland.

We topped off our meal with hokey pokey ice cream, a New Zealand specialty that is vanilla bean with chunks of honeycomb. We tried not to think of the 20 hour journey that would take us home the next day. The sunset over Auckland was amazing.

Until Next Time ...