Happy New Year to everyone and we hope you all had a good Yuletide. This is our first blog in a while, so why not make it about the New Year. But, in true Willowarchway style, nothing can be straightforward, and so this is our New Zealand New Year. We thought in light of whats happened over there in the past year, we would like to share a small part of our experiences whilst we were over there in 2000-2001. It,s an awesome place to experience with the people, the culture and the scenery.

We went over there with pushbikes and cycled around until the hills turned into mountains and volcanoes. We cycled from Auckland to Rotorua.

Lake Rotorua looking at Mokoia Island at sunset. We both got jobs working on the campsite here, I fixed the owners outboard motor on his boat and he said “Have I got a deal for you!” We stayed at this campsite for about 6 months on and off with travelling in between.

Mount Tarawera. This erupted in I886 burying the pink and white terraces.

Underneath this steam is a bubbling hot mud pool. This was in the local park (Kuirau Park) that we used to walk through every day and the whole area was geothermic.

The same park one week later! This is not snow, it’s ash ! The park literally blew up and left a massive crater,thankfully there were no fatalities. On one day alone we experienced 22 earthquakes, most were just ripples but there was one almighty bang and a shake and the locals said they had been waiting all day for that one!!

Banks Peninsula, South Island around Christchurch. This is an extinct volcano that blew itself up leaving the crater, now full of water from the ocean, and left the lava flow in the centre.

This is the lava flow that runs from left to right in the middle of the previous picture. This looks so surreal how the lava creates strange ripples.

June 2021

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