A Travellerspoint blog

Farewell to Summer and a Friend

Today is officially the last day of summer. Tomorrow it will be autumn, and Marie will hop on the plane home after a two month visit. Who knows where and when we will meet again!

We commiserated the twin-event at the Cardrona pub ... this time in Auckland [Auckland-travel-guide-1139106].


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We had breakfast where Jo and the Navy Band was playing, then headed out to Mission Estate, a winery that is often the venue for summer concerts by famous stars. Lionel Richie was coming to sing in a week ... and as it turned out, it became the venue's first ever cancellation due to soggy grounds and a high levels at a nearby river ... caused by very heavy rain of course.

Back in town, another of the the Art Deco weekend's big event was in full swing. This was the Art Deco picnic ... I expected people to be picnicing in costumes of the era. I mistaken ... the atmosphere was a lot more authentic than that eg. people were also eating off old china (crockery)!


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Art Deco Weekend

View 2009 Kiwi Summer on alexchan's travel map.

We flew down to the Art Deco Weekend in Napier [Napier-travel-guide-1140103] today. Napier is the (self-proclaimed?) Art Deco capital of the world because it was rebuilt in the style of that era after being levelled by an earthquake 1931. Like Nelson, it has known for good weather and a seaside setting. Oh, I want to move here too!

The Art Deco consists of all things of that period ... cars, costumes, dancing, music. All washed down with the famous Hawke's Bay wine from the surrounding countyside. Kim's sister Jo was her with the Navy Band providing plenty of entertainment on the trumpet.


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A fiery end

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large_5550_12365864243655.jpgView from Queenstown Hill.
We went up Queenstown Hill by cable car or gondola. It is the touristy thing to do here. The view was nice. The food up here was surprisingly cheap. I guess you've paid heftily for the ride up ... but that normally doesn't deter businesses which have a captive market to gouge gouge gouge!

To make full use of the car, we also drove around some of the suburbs on the opposite side of the lake. The skies turned grey ... not in a way that signalled impending rain ... and a weird yellowy orangey tinge filled the sky. As I found out at the airport, it was the forest fires in Melbourne that had caused this. Ash at high altitiude ... nice that it hasn't come down so it didn't physically feel polluted.


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Southern Circuit

View 2009 Kiwi Summer on alexchan's travel map.

We did a circuit around the region today, heading north to Arrowtown [Arrowtown-travel-guide-1315834], Cardrona and Wanaka [Wanaka-travel-guide-1309225].

Arrowtown is an old mining town that has been kept in the style of the period ... to the extent possible I guess. It was home to the first Chinese in New Zealand who came to work in the gold mines.

We stopped at the "famous" Cardrona pub on the way to Wanaka. Made famous by a beer ad.

Wanaka is another lakeside town but it wasn't a pretty day. Fortunately we stumbled on the historic walk ... with a difference. The 2000+ tiles along the waterfront had bits of local and world history on each one of them.

Then it was back to Queenstown [Queenstown-travel-guide-1308400] with a brief stop at Kawerau Gorge to see some bungy jumping.


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