On the road again! Haven't finished writing my last trip up but as I want to keep things more current and write when it is fresh in my mind I am not going to wait until I have gone through the 1000+ photos I took today and instead write up the blog part first. (Then waited a month before editing the pics and actually posting the blog...)
We hit the road early (before 7 am) to make it to Rotorua by 11.30 for our date with some awesome birds in Rotorua. Our only stops were for refreshment, stopping in Turangi for a late breakfast and second coffee for the day (first from my home machine, of course).
Coffee was sourced at Cadillac Cafe, a very cute cafe with cool memorabilia from the states. The coffee itself, unfortunately, was far too hot (think I couldn't drink it for close to 40 minutes after purchasing) and of course with over-heating comes bitterness. The staff were lovely though, just not the coffee place for me.
Food was from one of the many bakery spots within throwing distance, Turangi Bakehouse. I was pleased to FINALLY see a bakery place that had fresh salads on offer too, but being breakfast it was the wrong time of day for me so I took a pass and grabbed some other baked goods. Rodney opted for his usual sausage roll and was unimpressed by the onion in it (fussy much) but it was a good bakehouse with lots on offer and I would definitely go there again.
Back to it and driving all the way through to Rotorua from there. We were halted by many road works but made it there on time so nothing to worry about there.
Wingspan - Rotorua
Wingspan in Rotorua is a bird of prey conservation centre doing great things for our NZ Falcons. It was cool to see these very rare birds in action! (more endangered than kiwi! Only about 1000 in the wild) Makes me feel very lucky to have seen one in the wild on one of our South Island trips. They're still developing their new site after expanding, will be interesting to go back when they're finished and see what else is on offer, maybe a close encounter would be on the cards.
Was cool to learn how they're now training birds using drones (technology affects everything doesn't it?!).
While we tried our best to capture the birds in flight, they are SO FAST! Not the best bird for a rookie to try and capture but fun trying nonetheless.
Next up was the cutest bird I think I've ever seen - a Barn Owl. These are the newest bird of prey to be classified as an NZ native, only as recently as 2008 have these birds started reproducing on their own in NZ. Since they're here naturally they're now classed as an NZ native and Wingspan have taken a keen interest in ensuring they survive here.
After our visit there we kept travelling on to Auckland but OMG the heat! The car chose today to either break or run out of air-con gas and I was heat exhausted by the time we got to Auckland. Glad to have taken the evening off to relax a bit in the nice cool room. Subway for dinner, nothing to write about there.
The hotel we're at is Rosepark in Albany. The room itself is fine, bed, tv, aircon (a must today). The bathroom, however... I'm not sure how Rodney had a shower in there because the shower head was at my head height (aka short), which was due to the giant step up into the bathtub. Not often I feel tall, thanks for that LOL.
Rodney is trying to read this over my shoulder but I am fussy and am hiding it from view until I'm ready to "publish" - don't like showing unfinished work... =P