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Our Travel Adventures

Welcome to the Adventures of Larry and Connie Farquhar.

Day 35 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022

20221027_104339 Troll from The Hobbit at Weta Cave
Masonic Art Deco Hotel
Masonic Art Deco Hotel

We've been pretty busy these last couple of days, so I thought I'd update the blog while I could. When we arrived in Napier, we checked into the Masonic Art Deco Hotel. The town of Napier was pretty much destroyed in 1931 by a 7.8 earthquake. Before then, the town was actually a small island. But the earthquake made the land around the island to raise over 9 feet, turning the island into a peninsula.  When they started to rebuild the downtown area, they purposely kept the decor in the "Art Deco" style, to be used as publicity and attract tourist. There are over 140 buildings in downtown Napier that are of the Art Deco style, including the hotel we stayed in.


The town of Napier is located in Hawkes Bay, which is a popular wine region. We were picked up that afternoon for our half-day beer and wine tasting tour. There were 8 of us tourist on this tour. Our first stop was at Roosters Batched Brewed Beer. We enjoyed some plates of appetizers and a tasting flight with 5 beers each. These weren't the normal small 2 or 3 oz tastings These were 5 - 6 oz glasses! Yum! The beer was pretty good, and a good icebreaker for our traveling band of tasters. 2 people in our group were from China and didn't speak much English. It was fun with them!

The ladies of our group.
Tasting beer at Roosters Beer Brewery
Roosters Beer Brewery

Our next stop was at the oldest, or 2nd oldest wintery in New Zealand. There's a dispute about this, as another winery (Mission Winery) was started first but has moved locations. Te Mata winery was established in 1896 and has been in the same location since. At Te Mata, we sampled 5 different wines. However, these were small tastings, which did taste good. Connie ended up buying a bottle of their Gamay Noir 22.

Perhaps it was all of the beer and wine we had already tasted, but we don't remember the name of the second winery, and we only got one photo of our table. I remember we had 8 tastings, and the wine was also good there. Especially the dessert wine with some chocolate. By now we were really enjoying our tasting tour.

The final winery we visited was the controversial Mission Winery (at their new location). Here, we sampled 5 more wines, including a sparkling wine. They were also all good. They even gifted us all with a wine glass. The rest of the tour was looking at the Art Deco buildings and learning more about the history of Napier. Connie and I also learned more about wine growing.

Mission Winery
Some of our touring group
Mission WInery
Tasting at Mission Winery

After spending a couple days in Napier, we drove over 4 hours to the City of Wellington. This is located on the southern tip of New Zealand's northern island and is the capital of New Zealand. We checked into the James Cook Grand Chancellor hotel, located in downtown. We enjoyed another great meal, some of us having Fish and Chips again.

The next day, we toured the Weta Cave. This is a small museum and tour of the effects produced by Weta FX. This is the company that made most of the costumes, props and accessories used in The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and several other popular movies. It was amazing to see how these items are produced and the detail used in making them.

This afternoon, we caught up on laundry then took a short drive to Princess Beach in the Houghton Bay on the Cook Straight. A scenic coastline, which we'll be sailing on tomorrow. We're loading up on a ferry to move to the South Island of New Zealand. Next stop - Picton, New Zeaalnd.

Princess Beach, Houghton Bay
Princess Beach, Houghton Bay
Princess Beach, Houghton Bay
Princess Beach, Houghton Bay

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Day 42 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022
Day 32 - "Epic" New Zealand Adventure 2022
 

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022