Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall charting our adventures as we sail around the world. We're sailing up and down the east coast of Australia after a summer back in Britain.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Old friends and new - the Gatehouse of Fleet connection

We had a super weekend in the town of Tauranga, about 3 hours drive from Auckland on the east coast, staying with Shona and Malcolm. They are friends from the UK, working out here for two years and Graham first met Shona about 40 years ago, holidaying in Scotland near the town of Gatehouse of Fleet where his parents now live.

They took us on a beautiful five-hour hike through the forest around Lake Tarawera, near Rotarua. The walk ended at Hot Water Beach for a swim and to discover the reason for the name; the whole area is still very volcanically active and the sand a couple of inches below the water, when we dug our fingers into it, was too hot to touch!

Post walk wallowing

Shona and Dianne on the high-speed water taxi across the lake back to the car
With us on the walk were Roger and Janet, originally from Suffolk but NZ residents for the past 11 years. They own a Kiwi Fruit orchard and we joined them for a bbq in the evening. In the course of the day we discovered that Roger not only knows Gatehouse of Fleet very well but is great friends with the next-door neighbours of Graham's parents!

With Roger in his orchard

A good crop, which will be picked in May
 On the Sunday we walked up the Mount which guards the entrance to Tauranga Harbour for great views of the town and beach. 

Looking south towards Te Puke

The harbour entrance - the biggest container port on North Island 
Many thanks to Shona and Malcolm for a fun weekend and for good training for the Tongariro Alpine Crossing hike - details to follow.

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