Adventures in Middle Earth

Cat 243 Doverby Mary Jo

I've already written about my visit to Melbourne,where I spoke at the annual conference of the Romance Writers of Australia.  The day after that conference ended, it was off to New Zealand for the conference of the Romance Writers of New Zealand.  

This is my third visit Down Under, and I firmly believe that one shouldn't fly that far without seeing both countries.  As former British colonies that are a long way from the rest of the world, Australia and New Zealand have much in common.  New Zealand MapBut they are also very different, and beautiful in very different ways.  Australia is vast and ancient and has a lot of desert, while New Zealand is green and lush and–Middle Earth-ish.  

Before traveling Down Under for our third visit, we watched the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy again, partly because it's a great story with great characters, but also to feast our eyes on the stunning scenery, from the green fields of Hobbiton to the rolling grasslands of Rohan and the dramatic snowy peaks that must be conquered on the route to Mordor.  Splendid!



Real New Zealand is as gorgeous as movie New Zealand.  We only had a few days before the RWNZ conference started, so we hired a driver/guide to take us north to the Bay of Islands.  The whole country is beautiful, but it was also winter, so I figured we might as well visit the warmest part of the country since we hadn't seen it before.  Luckily, we're not talking winter in Buffalo, more like winter in North Carolina, so it never got really cold.  

New Zealand has two main islands, the North and the South.  The north is more agricultural, with farms and sheep and cows everywhere, while the South Island has Beautiful scenerydramatic mountains and fjords.  Being an island nation, the country also has masses of gorgeous coastline.  

I was raised on a farm, and the Mayhem Consultant said that whenever we drive over Maryland's Bay Bridge to the agricultural Eastern Shore, I give a happy little sigh of relaxation.  When I paid attention, I realized he was right. 

The North Island of New Zealand has the same effect on me.  Beautiful farms, flocks of happy sheep and cows living green, free-range lives.  

But New Zealand has much to offer beyond farms.  Eastern Polynesians settled the islands only about seven hundred years ago, making it the newest of nations.  The settlers evolved into the Maori, with a strong warrior culture.  A lot of the early European settlements were in the Bay of Islands area.  

The attractive resort town of Russell, where we stayed for two nights, was an early trading town originally named Kororareka, meaning "how sweet is the penguin."  However, NZ--Russel in the morningit came to be called the Hell Hole of the Pacific because of drunken whalers and traders, prostitution, and general lawlessness. (The picture on the right was shot from the patio of our B&B.  I think that New Zealand has the best B&Bs in the world.  Really.)

The Treaty of Waitangi was signed nearby in 1840.  It established the rights of the Maori and brought New Zealand into the British empire.  Provisions of the treaty are still being argued over.  Today Maori are about 15% of the Kiwi population,  The percentage of Maori place names is surely higher! 

New Zealand has a quirky charm all its own.  For example, I've never seen local public toilets so interesting that they have their own tourist signs.  <G>  Located in the town of Kawakawa, they were designed by a well known Austrian artist named Frederick Hundertwasser.   He visited New Zealand originally for an exhibition of his work, and he loved the country so much he Kawakawa toilets 3eventually moved to this area. 

When the local council decided that it was time to upgrade the public toilets, Hundertwasser volunteered his services.  The result attracts admirers from literally around the world–as well as people using the facility as intended. <G>

We spent four days touring the Far North area of the country, eating well, admiring sights, and visiting places like the amazing Kauri Museum, a sprawling complex which illuminates the pioneer history of New Zealand, including early industrial equipment and a replica boarding house for workers.  It also has an outstanding gift shop. <G>

NZ--great Kauri treeThe kauri tree is a native evergreen that grows large and very old, and produces gorgeous wood.  Here's a picture of the oldest kauri tree in New Zealand, called Tane Mahuta, the Lord of the Forest.  It's been 1250 and 2500 years old, and was huge before the first Polynesian explorers landed on these shores.  New Zealand has developed a unique ecosystem where birds fill a lot of the niches, and forest are ferny and rather otherworldly. 

I don't know anyone who has visited New Zealand that hasn't loved the country, and that includes us.  I jumped at the opportunity to speak at the national RWNZ conference, not just for the sightseeing but for the lovely people. 

 

Ferny jungleNext time, I want to return in the summer so I can seem more of the spectacular South Island.  Maybe I'll even see Frodo, Gandalf, and Aragorn there….  <G> 

Mary Jo

130 thoughts on “Adventures in Middle Earth”

  1. I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I’ve met in my world travels) if it weren’t fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.
    Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

    Reply
  2. I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I’ve met in my world travels) if it weren’t fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.
    Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

    Reply
  3. I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I’ve met in my world travels) if it weren’t fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.
    Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

    Reply
  4. I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I’ve met in my world travels) if it weren’t fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.
    Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

    Reply
  5. I would love to see the beauty of New Zealand and enjoy the hospitality of the Aussies (the most fun-loving folks I’ve met in my world travels) if it weren’t fir that pesky 20-hour plane trip, lol.
    Are there any Regencies set in Australia and available in the US/UK? I know it was a sort of penal colony in those days, but considering how minor some of the crimes were that got ordinary people transported, and how colorful some of the major offenders must have been, I can imagine some vivid scenarios for such a time and place.

    Reply
  6. Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    Cheers,
    Faith

    Reply
  7. Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    Cheers,
    Faith

    Reply
  8. Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    Cheers,
    Faith

    Reply
  9. Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    Cheers,
    Faith

    Reply
  10. Thank you, Mary Jo, for a lovely tour of one of the places I most want to visit! I take mental breaks throughout the day and visit favorite places for a minute or two; New Zealand is now at the top of my list! Have a lovely week, everyone.
    Cheers,
    Faith

    Reply
  11. Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can’t remember title or author’s name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they’re out of print. It’s an under-utilized setting.

    Reply
  12. Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can’t remember title or author’s name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they’re out of print. It’s an under-utilized setting.

    Reply
  13. Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can’t remember title or author’s name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they’re out of print. It’s an under-utilized setting.

    Reply
  14. Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can’t remember title or author’s name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they’re out of print. It’s an under-utilized setting.

    Reply
  15. Mary M, the Aussies are definitely fun loving. I recall one Regency historical that had the penal colony setting. It was from Ballantine some years ago, but I can’t remember title or author’s name. She now writes Regency mysteries under a different name. I realize this is not much help. *G* Catherine Gaskin also wrote a couple of excellent books set a little later, but I think they’re out of print. It’s an under-utilized setting.

    Reply
  16. Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.
    And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.
    I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)

    Reply
  17. Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.
    And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.
    I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)

    Reply
  18. Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.
    And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.
    I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)

    Reply
  19. Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.
    And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.
    I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)

    Reply
  20. Well — your recent trip is shaping my viewing habits. I have learned that my husband owns all the Miss Fisher mysteries. I can watch the earlier ones with him without disturbing his own pleasure. So now I visit Melbourne regularly.
    And we own the Lord of the Rings trilogy and will continue to visit South Island with regularity.
    I grew up in St. Louis, but my grand-parents lived in a farm-support town in Wabash County, Indiana. I visited family farms whenever we visited my grandparents. I learned to milk cows on the farm of a family friend who lived in Alton, Illinois. So I had the best of both worlds growing up. I Identify with your relaxation in farmland. (And Columbia, Missouri where we now live is surrounded by farms.)

    Reply
  21. And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?
    My husband’s uncle (father’s brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He’d send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I’d ever seen. Maybe someday…

    Reply
  22. And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?
    My husband’s uncle (father’s brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He’d send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I’d ever seen. Maybe someday…

    Reply
  23. And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?
    My husband’s uncle (father’s brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He’d send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I’d ever seen. Maybe someday…

    Reply
  24. And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?
    My husband’s uncle (father’s brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He’d send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I’d ever seen. Maybe someday…

    Reply
  25. And did you visit with Anne while you were in that neck of the woods?
    My husband’s uncle (father’s brother) married a New Zealander and lived there the better part of his life. Alas, we never made it but I always wanted to go. He’d send pictures of some of the most beautiful country I’d ever seen. Maybe someday…

    Reply
  26. I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers’ book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip – I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It’s not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we’ll manage that trip in 2017.

    Reply
  27. I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers’ book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip – I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It’s not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we’ll manage that trip in 2017.

    Reply
  28. I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers’ book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip – I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It’s not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we’ll manage that trip in 2017.

    Reply
  29. I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers’ book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip – I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It’s not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we’ll manage that trip in 2017.

    Reply
  30. I have wanted to visit New Zealand ever since I read my first Essie Summers’ book when I was a teenager (I think it was Moon Over the Alps) way back in the 60s. I keep working on my husband to take that trip – I want to cruise to Australia and then take a cruise around New Zealand. It’s not on the schedule for 2016 (trip to England is) but maybe we’ll manage that trip in 2017.

    Reply
  31. It’s a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I’ve never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

    Reply
  32. It’s a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I’ve never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

    Reply
  33. It’s a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I’ve never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

    Reply
  34. It’s a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I’ve never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

    Reply
  35. It’s a gorgeous place, isn’t it? I have two Hundertwasser posters on the wall of my study (and have had for umpteen years) as well as a book of his work. But I’ve never seen his NZ loo, Mary Jo. Might have to go back there and check it out.

    Reply
  36. Sue McCormick,
    Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn’t it?
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don’t know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

    Reply
  37. Sue McCormick,
    Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn’t it?
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don’t know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

    Reply
  38. Sue McCormick,
    Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn’t it?
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don’t know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

    Reply
  39. Sue McCormick,
    Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn’t it?
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don’t know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

    Reply
  40. Sue McCormick,
    Farmland really does have a wonderful sense of peace, doesn’t it?
    I’m glad you’re enjoying the Miss Fisher Mysteries! Lovely to look at and fun characters. I think Lord of the Rings was shot on both islands, but more the South. Hobbiton and Rivendell are North Island. The mountains were surely South Island. I don’t know if any other country could match the variety of scenery within a relatively compact area.

    Reply
  41. Theo–
    I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we’d had more time!!!
    I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

    Reply
  42. Theo–
    I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we’d had more time!!!
    I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

    Reply
  43. Theo–
    I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we’d had more time!!!
    I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

    Reply
  44. Theo–
    I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we’d had more time!!!
    I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

    Reply
  45. Theo–
    I most certainly hung out with Anne in Melbourne! That was part of the reason for going. *G* If you click on the Melbourne hot link at the top of this blog, it will take you my Melbourne visit. Anne took us to the wonderful Healesville animal sanctuary, and took me shopping in the Lanes. I only wish we’d had more time!!!
    I do hope you get to visit New Zealand someday. It really is gorgeous.

    Reply
  46. New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we’ve been to the North Island, we’ve never been to Russell. Now you have made it a ‘must visit’.

    Reply
  47. New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we’ve been to the North Island, we’ve never been to Russell. Now you have made it a ‘must visit’.

    Reply
  48. New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we’ve been to the North Island, we’ve never been to Russell. Now you have made it a ‘must visit’.

    Reply
  49. New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we’ve been to the North Island, we’ve never been to Russell. Now you have made it a ‘must visit’.

    Reply
  50. New Zealand is a beautiful country and you paint such a lovely picture, Mary Jo. Although we’ve been to the North Island, we’ve never been to Russell. Now you have made it a ‘must visit’.

    Reply
  51. Laura, I think you’d find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

    Reply
  52. Laura, I think you’d find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

    Reply
  53. Laura, I think you’d find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

    Reply
  54. Laura, I think you’d find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

    Reply
  55. Laura, I think you’d find it very rewarding. You have to take a little car ferry to get to it, and that was part of the fun. (It ran continuously, so no waiting, though it was winter, of course.) The whole area was interesting. Once we lunched at a very small waterside cafe in an isolated area, and it was delicious and sophisticated food, with nice local crafts displayed in a rowboat inside. The North Country had all sorts of lovely little surprises like that.

    Reply
  56. For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
    We’ve just returned from our fourth visit to NZ – it’s a magical place.
    Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

    Reply
  57. For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
    We’ve just returned from our fourth visit to NZ – it’s a magical place.
    Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

    Reply
  58. For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
    We’ve just returned from our fourth visit to NZ – it’s a magical place.
    Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

    Reply
  59. For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
    We’ve just returned from our fourth visit to NZ – it’s a magical place.
    Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

    Reply
  60. For a truly scenic loo, a visit to Cathedral Cove on the North Island has a long-drop loo with a Laserlite window that has a fantastic view (not so pretty of itself, though). The Hundertwasser loo is rather surreal.
    We’ve just returned from our fourth visit to NZ – it’s a magical place.
    Did you try the ice-cream or the chocolate -yum!

    Reply
  61. Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the “Lucky Country” with justification.

    Reply
  62. Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the “Lucky Country” with justification.

    Reply
  63. Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the “Lucky Country” with justification.

    Reply
  64. Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the “Lucky Country” with justification.

    Reply
  65. Judy, New Zealand is worthy of that top spot! Though when you do make it Down Under, it will be even better to reserve several days for Australia as well. They call it the “Lucky Country” with justification.

    Reply
  66. Now you’ve made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.

    Reply
  67. Now you’ve made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.

    Reply
  68. Now you’ve made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.

    Reply
  69. Now you’ve made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.

    Reply
  70. Now you’ve made me really want to visit New Zealand. The top two photos remind me a bit of Nova Scotia/Prince Edward Island, and I guess there are a few similarities, besides being islands, they are both very green and have a lot of dairy farming. NZ looks a lot more exotic.

    Reply
  71. Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris – I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

    Reply
  72. Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris – I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

    Reply
  73. Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris – I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

    Reply
  74. Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris – I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

    Reply
  75. Candace Proctor. Whispers of Heaven and Night in Eden are both set in Australia. She now writes as C.S.Harris – I definitely recommend her Sebastian St Cyr series (aristocratic Regency sleuth).

    Reply
  76. Karin, you’re right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

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  77. Karin, you’re right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

    Reply
  78. Karin, you’re right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

    Reply
  79. Karin, you’re right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

    Reply
  80. Karin, you’re right that the look of the North Island is reminiscent of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Also of British Columbia. The climate is milder, though, being islands rather than part of a continental land mass.

    Reply

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