NZ North Island Day 1

10 March 2018, Saturday.

We were refreshed after a night of good rest. Quickly, we had everything back into our car and then checked out from our hotel. Our first stop was Hill Street Farmers Market.

A small market with few stalls and were mainly patronized by families staying in close proximity.

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The fruits and vegetables are very fresh.

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We decided to have some pastries for breakfast.

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A little corner for people to sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee.

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Our breakfast …. tasty especially with light toast, jam and butter.

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After breakfast…. we bought tomato, pear, pear juice, apples and blueberries… a bag full of purchases.

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From Wellington, we drove North along the SH2 (State Highway 2). It was easy at first and then it was mountainous terrain. Coupled with light drizzle and a little misty, the last 10 KM before Featherston was a little too much for my small car.

A stop at Featherston, a quiet and peaceful town and very relaxing.

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Roaming along the main street… Little boy shared with us what his dog can do.

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Stopped over at Bookshop…

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Examining the collection…

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Had a free book for myself…

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Outside the book shop and along the street… people simply sit back, relax, read a book or have some casual words with each others. We love this kind of relaxing atmosphere. Lovely town !!!

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A short drive from Featherston, we were at Greytown. Greytown was voted the most beautiful small town in New Zealand 2017.

As we strolled along, we could feel the quiet charm.

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This is the town library….Country style architecture with a modern touch.

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And the little church at the town center.

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We had lunch at French Bakery and Espresso Bar.

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While the pumpkin soup may not suit our taste, the pasta and the bread were very good. Good Coffee too…

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A little shopping after lunch…Some Candy to sweeten our days !

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Wide varieties to pick and choose from…

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A small gift pack – so sweet !

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From Greytown, we make a detour to Stonehenge Aotearoa. It was about 30 mins drive. We had our admission tickets ($15 ppax) and moved on via a short walkway to the theater.

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A short video clip telling the construction of Stonehenge and features significance with respect to the sun, moon and stars.

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After the show, we headed towards Stonehenge. On a little path lined with fruits trees…..

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Among the fallen fruits… this one look good.

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Another good piece.

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And the sheep farm… (The owner of this sheep farm had given up a portion of the farmland for building of Stonehenge)

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This is Stonehenge of New Zealand.

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An overview from the entrance.

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Circling Stonehenge…. we took pictures of the build up from the side and from the rear.

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At the center of Stonehenge…column resembling a sun dial.

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when we clapped our hand… the echo was pretty loud.

 

Goddess at the opposite end of Sun dial column….

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The yellow line trace the shadow sun dial column tip at mid day throughout the year… The period was clearly marked by the signs of zodiac.

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We had enjoyable time around Stonehenge…

 

The grassland was dotted with little yellow flowers….

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with occasional inclusion of odd species.

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so relaxing to be sitting around…

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Our pictures at Stonehenge…

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It was near 1500 hrs. We decided to skip Masterton, which was named most beautiful City in New Zealand 2017. (Towns with population more than 6000 peoples are classified as cities). It was a long 3.5 hours drive to Te Mata Peak.

It was 1800 hrs when we finally caught sight of Te Mata peak.

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Arrived at the summit car park…

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Looking downhill… the winding road that lead us up this peak. (the last stretch is single lane, high gradient and winding…. which we had to go slow in anticipation of cars coming downhill!)

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Breathtaking view from summit.

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and the quiet plain at the foot of the peak… green, peaceful and relaxing !

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We decided to explore area just below the summit. At one edge of the summit car park, we saw the Mountain bike track …

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with a lonely tree …

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Pictures at the summit.

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We waited for the sunset view….

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Pictures of the last ray before we make our way to Napier.

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It was nearly 2000 hrs when we checked into Kennedy Park Resort. Very spacious, very clean and very complete unit.

 

Had a short break…relaxed and had some fruits and pear juice…

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We decided to explore Marine Parade and had proper dinner before it was too late. At Marine Parade… the ever changing colored fountain looked spectacular against the dark night sky.

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We could see the outfall and viewing platform some distance beyond the fountain. It was windy with roaring wave in the pitch dark background. Our pictures at the viewing platform !

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Emporium Eatery and Bar is hundreds of meters from the waterfront.

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The ambient is superb for small group gathering and unwinding after a days’ work…

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Dinner and…. drinks after drinks.

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2200 hrs…. it was time to get back to Kennedy Park…. Driving through the quiet Napier. While the place was completely lighted up, there are very few people on the street. To people like us living in populated city, this is quiet luxury ! enjoyable !

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End of Day 1 : Our first stop – Hill Street Farmer Market – I always enjoy Farmers Market, where I can catch a glimpse of local lifestyle.

On our way to Napier, we stopped at Featherston and Greytown. Both are charming towns that we love the very relaxing atmosphere and would like to come back again.

Stonehenge Aotearoa – yes… it may be a reconstructed piece but it gave us more depth than the original UK Stonehenge. It thought it was very worth visiting.

Te Mata Peak…. Stunning view, lovely sunset, everything is so beautiful here.

Return to : Heading to NZ North Island

Continue to : NZ North Island Day 2