Pit stop in Tauranga

Tauranga Travel Blog

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The Strand in Tauranga

Lazing around on the beach in the middle of November was great, I couldn’t help thinking of my Welsh friends freezing their butts during these cold, wet, winter days.  Only a few days earlier I received an email from Jace telling me that the temperature had dropped to -4 C… Jeez louise peppa cheese!!  I can’t remember it ever being that cold? 

 

Anyway, sadly I had to make a move if I wanted to see everything else I had planned to, so I packed up and drove south along another beautiful stretch of coastal road.  I wanted to reach Rotorua as soon as possible, but it was a fair drive and eventually I opted to make a day stop in Tauranga, on the Bay of Plenty, and book into the YHA for a good scrub and a decent meal.

Tauranga - fishing boats

 

Good choice.  The hostel was nice, clean, kind of cosy and friendly atmosphere.  The best part for me was a big kitchen with good pots and pans, instead of the usual loose-handle, bashed-up and scratched to hell ones that you find in some hostels, where you can’t help adding non-stick coating flakes to every meal, nice!

 

Tauranga is the 5th largest urban area in New Zealand, but it is better know for the huge New Year’s Eve celebration party, which takes place on the beach of Mount Maunganui.  It is supposed to be the best place to enjoy NY; however there is always a liquor ban enforced on streets and public areas, and in 2008 around 220 people were arrested for drinking in public; that includes a swift drink in the back of your van… criminals! 

 

I only had an afternoon to spend, so I limited my self to a quick walk around town.

God ol fish market
  I found a great fish market on the pier and bought a portion of smoked mussels and fresh crab sticks, with a view to cook a nice big risotto alla marinara, with no sardines this time.  Then I walked pass a series of cheerful pubs with live music, and stopped for a quick pint.  Three hours later, two empty pockets, a belly full of smoked mussels and a new friend called John, I realised it was time to go/stagger home.  It was great meeting John; an 80ish year old chap with a taste for good whisky.  He used to pilot merchant ships in his younger years and had many funny stories to tell.  He was out by him self, to enjoy a few drinks and some music, but he also had more than he planned to and had to ask his wife to pick him up.  The phone call was hilarious; I could hear her shouting down the phone like a mother reprimands her naughty child, whilst he pulled funny faces.  Some things never change, no matter how old you are.   

 

On my way out to Rotorua I spotted a huge kiwi fruit on the side of the road.

Mount Maunganui
  Not a real kiwi, this thing must have been ten meters tall!  I realise that I had been in kiwi-land for almost 4 weeks and hadn’t tried a single kiwi fruit yet, so a stop was compulsory.  In the shop, I found all sorts of kiwi produces: jams; soups; skin creams; wines and liquors.  Blime, I didn’t realised they made all this from the kiwi fruit, and I didn’t know that it grew on vine-like trees.  It was very educational.        

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The Strand in Tauranga
The Strand in Tauranga
Tauranga - fishing boats
Tauranga - fishing boats
God ol fish market
God ol fish market
Mount Maunganui
Mount Maunganui
Kiwi fruit Centre
Kiwi fruit Centre
Wine, liquor and some other undrin…
Wine, liquor and some other undri…
Kiwi fruit jams
Kiwi fruit jams
Kiwi fruit skin creams and other s…
Kiwi fruit skin creams and other …
Kiwi fruit Centre Shop
Kiwi fruit Centre Shop
Kiwi fruit trees
Kiwi fruit trees
more trees
more trees
kiwis
kiwis
kiwis
kiwis
Tauranga
photo by: Morle