Day 4
March 12th, 2011 by

Part of the purpose of this trip is to get from the top of the top island to the bottom of the bottom island and while it is nice that we have some time to do this it does necessitate some days that are mostly driving. Today was one of them but we did find some fun stuff to do along the way.

For instance, we stopped for a few hours at Mount Manganui, an extinct volcano that sits at the end of a small peninsula. Mt Manganui the town is a classic beach town with surfers, music blaring from tents and lots of mostly naked people wandering all over the place. This makes the mount of Mount Manganui that much more pleasant. For those preferring an easyish stroll then there is a nice walk up which takes about 45 minutes. For those preferring their pain over and done with there is another path that is basically straight up the front that allegedly takes 20 minutes. This is the picture of the mount from the distance:
picture borrowed from

And this is one of the many beautiful views from the ascent.

From there we drove along the coast for awhile, enjoying the wind in our hair but eventually we veered inland to  visit the Kiwi Fruit Capital of the World and even more importantly Kiwi 360, a sort of theme park for kiwi. Obviously, this is a must see on every New Zealand itinerary.

picture borrowed from family on a

We rolled up into Rotorua, known affectionately as RotoVegas, at around 4:30, just enough time before the sun went down to wander the rose garden, municipal lawn bowling fields, and lovely farmers market where we acquired dinner. Even though we drove a fair amount

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