Monday, June 6, 2011

Tauranga and White Island, New Zealand

May 2011

We took the 3 hour drive from Auckland to Tauranga, where we stopped for dinner at Horny Bull's along The Stand which is a street along the harbour with restaurants and bars, before heading to Papamoa Beach to check into our room at the Casa Del Mare.

The next morning we were up early for our 1 hour drive south along the coast to Whakatane to take our boat trip to White Island, New Zealands most active volcano. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the boat trip of 1 hr 40 minutes went smoothly. Once landed we were split into small groups and given a guided informative tour of the island stopping at various points for photos and overall spending 2 hours on the Island.

After boarding the boat again, we had a "light" lunch and saw the rest of the island via boat, before heading back to port. Along the way we came across a pod of dolphins (about 50 odd) playing in the water.

Once back at Whakatane we headed back to Papamoa beach and the B&B, stopping at Kiwi360, which is a kiwi fruit farm, which during the day has tours of the working farm (it was too late for us).

That night we had a pub dinner at The Boulevard, lamb shank for DH and ribs for me, before heading back to our room.

Casa Del Mare B&B, Papamoa Beach - we stayed in the Paris room, but had the whole area to ourselves as there wasn't anyone in the Rome room

Horny Bull, Taurunga - a steak place, although DH and I didn't have steak, although the beef salad and the pork were good!

The Boulevard, Papamoa Beach - a local pub, with large, hearty meals

White Island Tours, Whakatane - a great tour, a little bit $$$, but nothing like the helicopter tours, which is the only other option to get on the island

Kiwi 360, Te Puke

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