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 John and Cynthia:  Knotperfect

New Zealand: January 2018

Still on the gardening theme, while walking in Rotorua we came across this new planting in the Government Gardens.

  

Initially we were somewhat taken aback - that looks like cannabis surrounded by parsley.  I'm still not sure about the parsley but I think that is Cleome??  I talked to one of the gardeners and apparently some of the plants have been stolen already.  Someone is in for a disappointment.

We also stopped in Tirau, there are several outlet stores there by the way.  You can't miss it!

Merino shop

This is the Merino shop, obviously.  There's also a big Bendon undies shop with a parking place for the boys next door



Napier

  Right out on the east coast and famous for the art deco architecture, which I've done in previous years.  This time, I've focussed on some of the diversity of art and info, most of these are Pokéstops - yes, we've got it badly I'm afraid.

Here's one of my favourites - it's a drain ... only in New Zealand could a drain be made into an artwork - and a Pokéstop



It's outside the National Aquarium, here's the full picture below, with the drain in the foreground.









Yes, they are all in the game, serious messages and tributes to past events.

 

One of our highlights whenever we can get over to Napier, is lunch at Elephant Hill.  It remains the best restaurant on our travels here.  Fabulous food, excellent service and of course, yummy wines.




Don't forget to arrive half an hour early if you book a meal, you'll get a complimentary tasting - don't miss that.

 Wellington

We stayed at Plimmerton, which is a short rail journey from the capital.  We were delighted to enjoy the best Wellington weather - sunny, hot and c a l m !  Virtually unheard of.

We did the half-hour Parliament tour, it's free by the way, which was really worthwhile.  Cameras not allowed so these pics are stolen from the net ...  this the House of Representatives, there is no Upper House.



The Upper House was abolished in 1951 but there are some calls to reinstate it



We were very lucky to pick a time when the MPs were not sitting so we were able to visit many areas not normally open to the public.

The biggest surprise for us is that the actual Beehive building is only offices, the actual Parliament chamber is in the building to its right.



(I'm sure I could have done those better)

Here are some other views of Wellington ...

 

On the left (
or top if you have a smaller screen) what is now the Acadamy of Fine Arts, and opposite is this, errr toilet block!!  Not joking.

 

Just a wacky foot bridge, which seems to be made of junk and a Poké(s)top

Back in Plimmerton, we had a great meal at a little Polish Bistro called Topor.

 

_____

Back at Mangatainoka in 1889 ...

Henry Wagstaff, a cheesemaker, stopped just here for a brew of tea. He took water from the river and the tea tasted so good he decided to make beer instead.  The brewery is still here...



The tower building is now so unsafe following the odd shake or three, that no-one is even allowed inside.  But it is still standing proud.  We enjoyed our tour of the safe, newer bits and the beer that followed.  Do check it out if you are passing.  The food is good too.
  

and the free campground now sponsored by the Tui Brewery is a delight



A nearby town sports this mural



Norsewood is a small rural town in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region of North Island. ... Norsewood was founded by Scandinavian settlers in 1872 as a loggers settlement and was subsequently destroyed in a fire in 1888. A fishing boat, the Bindalsfaering, is displayed in a glassed boat-house in the town.

  



Returning to Napier ...

 

Lots of street art to discover






 

Another garden; Napier Botanic

        

Brilliant for Pokémon !!




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