Tauranga

We enjoyed the Art Deco Festival in Napier, but moved on north today. We are staying in a hacienda style hotel just outside Tauranga. There are sandy beaches all around. Tonight we are meeting friends from our time in Canterbury. The weather is still nice and hot, tomorrow the remnants of tropical storm Gita should bring some rain, but we are far enough north to avoid the worst of it.

Beach

Hotel

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Art Deco in Napier

We have come to the town of Napier in Hawkes Bay today. We are staying at the beach a little out of town and have been swimming already. Very refreshing in temperatures that reached 33 degrees today.

This city was destroyed in an earthquake in 1931 and rebuilt in Art Deco. This weekend is their annual Art Deco Festival. A lot of people in town dress up accordingly, only cars from that time are allowed to drive in the inner city and their are lots and lots of events, some free. Great fun to wander about and watch.

30s alive

North Island

We spent a wonderful evening with Brian and Nicole yesterday. They bought Blue Raven from us in 2014, and then sailed from the US to Europe to New Zealand with their daughters. It was great swapping sailing stories. They just sold the boat on and the new owners plan to be in the ARC once again.

Today we took the ferry to the North Island and are staying in the town of Masterton for the night.

Tasman District, New Zealand

We are staying close to Nelson for a few days, enjoying the scenery and good food of the area. Blue Raven was based here, but left a day before we got here. The daughter of friends of ours from Vancouver owns a cafe here, and the coffee culture in New Zealand is very impressive. The weather continues to be warm and mostly sunny.

Lake Rotoiti

We have left Christchurch and headed north to the small alpine town of St. Arnaud on lake Rotoiti. This is a beautiful area of mountains and rivers, full of great hiking opportunities. Yesterday, it rained very heavily, today is sunny and warm (25 deg), and we did a short 5km hike along the lake.

Healesville, Victoria

After a few more days in the Tasmanian wilderness (snakes and all), we returned to the mainland today. We are in Healesville, centre of the Yarra Valley wine area just outside Melbourne. This is a nice old town with lots of good restaurants and very good wines. Time for a bit of pampering.

Strahan

Noch eine lange Wanderung gestern, 14km, und heute sind wir vom Berg wieder an die Küste gefahren. Strahan war lange ein Hafen für den lokalen Bergbau, heute lebt der Ort vom Tourismus. Der Sonnenuntergang an Ocean Beach war schön.

Cradle Mountain

A few hours on the road today, with a couple of interesting stops in quaint small towns. Tonight we are in a little cabin at the edge of Cradle Mountain, the hikers’ paradise on the island of Tasmania. As we came into the park, an echidna (hedgehog look alikes that lay eggs but are mammals), and a wombat stood to attention to greet us. In the evening, pademelons (small wallabies) come to the balcony. The weather forecast for the next few days is ideal for hiking.

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Cradle Mountain

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Pademelon