out all the latest Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Events in
and Accommodation in Rotorua
a trip out to White Island
a trip out to White Island with transfers from Rotorua
a trip out to White Island with transfers from Tauranga
a trip out to Moutohora Island Sanctuary
soon as you drive into Opotiki you know you have arrived in some
not quite a time warp, more a mind warp as you can feel the chilled
lifestyle grow as you meander through its streets.
is the northern gateway to the Pacific
Coast Highway and from there, initially east then south, you
enter a rural and coastal landscape.
is very pretty countryside and the beaches are beautiful ...
back to Opotiki. There are around 4000 residents in the town and
that doubles if you take in the surrounding district.
is built on two rivers and has a very fine spot for swimming called
The Wharf. The kids can spend hours leaping into the cool waters
via swinging ropes and swim out to a pontoon.
can sit and watch while sipping on some very good lattes available
at the town's cafes.
big surprise was a collectibles shop in which I discovered a very
fine statuette of a French dragoon in Napoleonic campaign dress.
Not bad for country New Zealand!
one was just how arty and historically minded Opotiki is.
town has a wonderful museum that puts many larger cities to shame
- yes we mean you Tauranga.
has been established by the Opotiki Heritage and Agricultural Society
and shines a spotlight on the district's early days of settlement.
ground floor is filled with vintage farm machinery, vehicles and
horse-drawn buggies, as well as displays of giant saws and carpentry
tools, wagon wheels and horse harnesses.
there was a display of Maori carvings, a whaling display and images
and rooms set up showing how European settlers lived in the early
days of colonial New Zealand.
I shouldn't forget to mention the most amazing little corn chomping
no idea what it is called - or how it works - but you biff in a
piece of corn, turn a handle and lo and behold out pours corn kernels.
down the road is the wonderful Shalfoon and Francis Grocery Store
Museum that right up to 2000 was a working general store.
is a treasure trove of kiwiana from old sewing machines and washing
wringers, to typewriters, wind-up gramophones and a townload of
household wares from days gone by.
kids will be astounded at some of the items we used to take for
granted - such as typewriters!
the most fascinating part of the museum is the old grocery store,
which could very well still operate if the museum had more volunteers.
tins, jars and trays of foodstuffs that would have been sold to
previous generations are there to see. No homogenised supermarket
this, it's real, personal trading complete with flour bins.
a marvellous step back in time.
the road from the grocery museum is the beautiful Hiona St Stephen's
was built by the Reverend Carl Volkner.
the name Volkner rings a bell, it should, as he was killed by anti-British
Maori tribes who accused him of spying for the Government during
the Maori Wars.
death was not pleasant.
Grace was taken prisoner with Volkner but his life was spared.
watched the execution of Volkner who was hanged from a willow tree
near the church in 1865.
said Volkner "knelt down and prayed, and, having shaken hands
with his murderers said 'I am ready'."
an hour, Grace said, his body was taken down and decapitated. One
of the executioners, Kereopa Te Rau, removed the eyes and swallowed
them, saying one was Parliament and the other the Queen and English
would later be executed for his crime.
Volkner's church is well worth a visit.
if you visit Opotiki on a hot summer's day then there are several
good spots in the vicinty to cool off in.
is the aforementioned wharf, which is just to the back of the town's
there is The Boulders park which is a superb set of swimming holes
in a picturesque valley.
is a little out of the way, but worth the trip of State Highway
2 south of Opotiki. Turn on to Otara Rd, follow that to the Te Waiti
stream confluence, turn right and follow for about 4 km.
is on a steep gravel road and there a couple of small fords to cross.
Now be careful whole driving as the road is narrow and if you hoon
down it you will hit somebody.
a few kilometres out of Tirohonga heading towards Te Kaha is an
out-of-the-way spot called Morice's Bay.
down a gravel road, this time a short one, you can walk down to
the beach where you can spend the day sunbathing, swimming or exploring
sandstone arch allows you through to a next-door bay at low tides
and you and the kids can explore the area to your hearts' content.
word of warning - be very careful of rips and undertows.
a cyclist I should also mention there is a terrific cycleway that
partly runs along the coast from Opotiki just past Tirohonga in
the east and then loops back again. Click here for details of the
things to watch out for are the highly rated Fibre
and Fleece Fashion Show and the Opotiki