|Ellie's entry: Napier-Hastings has been the biggest surprise of the trip so far. Actually, all of New Zealand is quite spectacular and so very different from what I expected in a country of only 4 million . Big industry in Napier port seemed to be lumber; whole logs and chips being shipped to Korea, Japan and China. Another picture postcard scene: Mountains & Beaches together. For a city of 60,000, there are fabulous services, Beautiful parks, Beach parks, Beach clubs, Pool clubs, gardens and gardens of flowers all ringing around the beaches and provided by the city. They even have a separate park for skateboarding, so it is contained and great for kids. It's extremely clean, outdoor cafe's, city shops, all brick paved roads and sidewalks. Seemed like the cars were riding on the sidewalks and all lined with flowers and trees. The entire city was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake destroyed it (in the height of the world wide depression). It is ALL art deco rebuilding with classic, vintage cars and even many people in 1930 costumes, and so very friendly. It was just a most pleasant day and admiring the beautiful clean beach surrounded by parks and flowers. We took an art deco tour and have tons of great photos.
Today no internet, no phones, no TV etc-satellite is out. Bad storms last night and high frequency interference-but we are on the way to the capital city of Wellington.
Phil's entry: We by-passed any tours and venturing out to the city of tauranga because of rainy weather and it was a very short trip so we stayed on board and proceeded to the city of Wellington. All the thing ellie wrote are even more spectacular and picturesque than she has written-you have to use your imagination and even stretch what your mind conjures up-it is beautiful, clean, friendly, picturesque and impressive(for all of what we have seen of New Zealand so far)