Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Aotearoa - the Land of the Long White Cloud

On the road to Rotorua

We are just back from a lovely little break in New Zealand. I had a paper to give at a conference in Wellington but we had been planning on a mini-break for some time, so we decided to tie the two together. Wellington is a really lovely city - big enough to keep us entertained with its great museums, numerous bookshops and beautiful, vast public gardens to walk in - but not so big that the tourist with a handful of days to spend there feels swamped. We stayed near the excellent Cuba St too (sort of like Brunswick St, Melbournites) so we weren't ever stuck for somewhere terrific to eat either (potato curry with roti, I'm talking about you)!

On the road to Rotorua

After the conference, we made the six-hour drive north to Rotorua, NZ's well-known spa region. I must admit that I found the town itself a little too touristy but the natural spaces outside of Rotorua are just breathtakingly beautiful. I was reminded by turn of America and also Norway.

Beautiful native flowers along the path at the Orakei Korako Geothermal Park, outside of Rotorua. The flowers above remind me of wax flowers and the ones below heath but I am not sure exactly what they are...

I was also amazed but how much better New Zealand has brought together its Māori and non-Māori citizens and the important part that Māori culture plays in New Zealand's national outlook. We in Australia have a lot to learn.

We are already planning our next trip - this time to the South Island. Happy Days!


Feathers said...

i am delighted by those photos, especially the last one...i am glad you enjoyed your break. I have always wanted to visit New Zealand but the thought of travelling for so many hours (a whole day at least on the plane) puts me off, ahaha


Max said...

ooh, what was your paper about?
I am a welly lover, i used to go up at least four times a year but now I'm paranoid about earthquakes and high old buildings!
I'm disappointed i can't help you with the flower id, even though i pride myself on knowing a little about the local flora. the top one looks slightly manuka-ish (but wrong season, at least down south), the bottom one a little like kowhai (but kowhai is yellow?!)
i may be biased, but if you think the north is. is beautiful, you'r going to be blown away by the south...

Feronia said...

Thanks Feathers :) That's one of the reasons I like NZ so much - it's only 3 hours and 40 minutes from us by plane! xx


My paper was on a very depressing topic, Max - the massacre in Oslo in 2011, given to a politics conference. I'm very glad to have it behind me. It was a very negative paper to research. Thanks for your thoughts on the flowers. I can't wait to visit the South! Hopefully later this year.