2011 - travel videosTweet
Egmont National Park, covering over 33,000 hectares on Mt Egmont / Taranaki is home to several drives and walks. One of the most popular destinations of the National Park is Dawson Falls - a most enjoyable drive up the mountain and through Egmont National Park. Dawson Falls themselves, although popular, are surprisingly secluded - perhaps on account of the less-than steady steps on the way down. While the steps on many of the Swiss mountains may be much better maintained, they lack the charecter and charm of walking through native bush and, of course, that elusive "untouched" bush feel. The waterfalls? Well, watch the video and see for yourself .........
Mt Taranaki - drive up to Dawsons Falls
Dominating the skyline of the Taranaki region of New Zealand is Mount Taranaki itself. Home to Egmont National Park which covers over 33,000 hectares, Mt Egmont (as Mt Taranaki is also known) is also home to several drives around the base of the mountain as well as some routes through the national park. However, one of the best drives on the mountain is the drive upto Dawson Falls. The drive through native bush opens up at the Department of Conservation Office and car park which affords excellent views of South Taranaki .
Mt Taranaki - Dawson Falls to Stratford
I don't mean this in a disparaging way, but the drive down from Dawson Falls was even better than the drive up. Bar getting out of the car park, I didn't touch the gas peddle at all until I got to the base of the mountain - gravity just did all the work (and the limit!) for me. Probably the most effortless scenic drive I've ever had!
Naturally, the drive back to Stratford took me through some of the finest dairy country in the world - and it shows. I have to admit that driving Taranaki is one of the great pleasures in life.
Rotorua - Tamaki Maori Village
On our visit to Rotorua, we visited the Tamaki Maori Village - a well oiled machine displaying Maori culture and ways-of-life.
Arriving in our wakas (aka coaches), we were coached for this fine display where our elected "chiefs" were met with a challenge of peace by the resident Maori. Intimidating though these fine young gentlemen are, once the challenge of peace is accepted - our "chiefs" were welcomed by the chief of the village and they were led into the village itself. We followed our chiefs in to be treated to various (interactive) demonstrations of Maori games, a Haka, weapons and, of course, a Hangi meal.
Yes, it's the great conveyor belt of tourism. But it's good fun too.
Basel - Morgenstreich at Basler Fasnacht 2011
72-hours of festivities commence at 4am on Monday morning with Morgenstreich, a procession of lanterns and piccolo players, through the streets of Basels Old Town. I know early morning in Feburary in Basel can be cold but get to Marktplatz or Barfusserplatz early (3am-ish) to get yourself the best place.
Pick up some Mehlsuppe (a traditional flour soup) to keep yourself warm.