On the way to Rotorua: Auckland to Cambridge
Cambridge Travel Blog› entry 8 of 23 › view all entries
We had an early start this morning -- up at 7am, and down to Hector's again for breakfast. We had our same waitress, Maria, a very friendly and funny woman from Germany. She kept us laughing through most of our breakfast -- and seemed to get particular joy out of teasing my Dad. Mom and I had a couple of "flat white" coffees with our breakfast. I got my parents to try Marmite on their toast. Marmite is a bit like vegemite, but seems to have a stronger taste. They did not think the taste was that appealing. Definitely an acquired taste!
We hit the road for Rotorua around 9am. We took NZ 1 due south to Hamilton and skirted around it when we got to the belt way. We stopped in Cambridge, a really charming town just south of Hamilton on the Waikato River. It really does look like a charming English village, as it's name suggests. It has a lot of farms that raise racing horses. It's very green with tall beautiful trees. We stopped at the Cambridge Country Store for a quick lunch and some shopping. This store is a great find for local arts and crafts -- and I did find a few things that I just had to have. I bought a beautiful platter that was made by a local artist -- it has a New Zealand "Cabbage Tree" on it and is quite colorful. The store has lots of hand carved items made from native woods by local artists. It's really a great place to look for things like that. We also went across the street to an art gallery that shows Carol Hughes' work. Carol is a Cambridge artist that does really beautiful paintings. A friend of mine in Austin represents her in Texas and several of my friends have some of her work. It was fun to check out her new pieces, but I did not buy any.
Lunch at the Cambridge Country Store is a real treat, as everything is home made from scratch. I had some phylo dough pastries filled with pumpking and feta cheese and a bacon lettuce and tomato sandwich. It was really good with fresh squeezed lemonade.