We had a great day on our first stop on New Zealand’s North Island. After sailing all night and into mid-morning, we arrived at the Bay of Plenty and made our way to the pier at the foot of Mount Maunganui.
On our way into the Bay, we experienced the first sunrise on April 15th, Bill’s birthday, 19 hours earlier than at home. New Zealand is the closest major country to the Date Line, so we welcomed Bill’s birthday early.
As we approached the pier, the ship stopped, and two tugs pulling in opposite directions turned us 180 degrees.
Once we were in position, they both pushed us sideways to the pier.
Before heading for our tour, I took a picture of the ship. You can see why we had to be pushed in.
Today, we had a 7 hour tour planned that would take us to Rotorua, and the Maori village. Before arriving at the village, we made a stop at a kiwi fruit farm. The Gold Kiwi, was new to us. We were told that Trader Joe’s and Costco have in the US. I think is is much more flavorful than the green.
We had a walking tour with Chief (His Maori name was not pronounceable).
The village is a communal village, with the cooking area, being one of the several steam heated lakes. They also have a communal bathing area using the constantly flowing hot water from the springs.
Here he is just pulling corn on the cob out of the lake. We were offered a piece of corn. It tasted fantastic. They can cook vegetables, rice & other grains, and fish. High fat meats cannot be cooked in the pool, because the fat would coat the surfaces.
After walking the village with Chief, we went to the Cultural Presentation. The performers sang, danced and did the Haka, the traditional Maori war dance,
After the village, we spent an hour and a half soaking at the Polynesian Thermal Spa.
We then returned to the ship, where we had dinner in the Italian specialty restaurant, Sabitini’s. The table next to us also were celebrating a birthday, and the BD girl was born in1962, so both are 57 today.
A great day, perfect weather interesting places and sharing all that with the man of my dreams. Happy Birthday Bill!