Winter in New Zealand: Kia Ora


Winter in New Zealand


Auckland is built on 48 volcanoes! New Zealand sits on the edge of the Pacific and Australian plates which is why there are SO many volcanoes. Because it is an island, after the age of dinosaurs, there were no mammals here ONLY birds (they flew here). The MOA was 3m tall (9 feet!) and looked like a ostrich or emu and was a flightless bird.

Steamy in ROTORUA

Bubbling mud pools, gurguling hot springs, gushing geysers

I loved ROTORUA! WOW!! so much thermal activity. This is one of the places where the earth’s crust is the THINNEST in the world. At Te Puia, we saw mud at 92degrees and it was bubbling…we saw geysers, a Maori show, and so much more. Here is the photo

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Bay of Islands–Kauri trees, Haruru Falls, Rainbow Falls

What a tour we had in the NORTH–Bay of Islands. We saw rainbows, waterfalls, the lighthouse at the TIP of the north Island! We saw where the Pacific Ocean (means passive in Portugese) meets the Tasman Sea (lighter color and more heavy seas). The old growth Kauri trees are AMAZING–they are related to Redwoods and Sequoias. We hugged a few trees and of course took photos. The most amazing thing was SAND SURFING!!! We hiked to the top of a sand dune (after our bus drove on the SAND carefully avoiding the quick sand and then down a river–the bus has special seatbelts and is actually a truck not a bus) and we lay down on boogie boards and ZOOMED down the dunes!! I did scream the whole way but George went twice and I got a great video of him. It was really fantastic!

Kia Ora (hello in Maori language)

We have had a fantastic time in New Zealand. BUT since we are SOUTH Of the equator it is WINTER here…and in Rotorua it was -3degrees celsius (27F) at Night—-I wore 4 long sleeve shirts, a cashmere sweater and a raincoat…and I was still cold. People kept telling us it was not that COLD! And they left all the DOORS OPEN! In the North, we were in Paihia during the Gale Force Winds Brett. So we have seen a TON of rain and luckily a TON of Rainbows!! We did read that many people noticed so many TEETH in our photos….we did have to take some sad face photos in the rain and cold! We go next to Sydney, Australia. Thinking of you!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Lisa and George

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

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