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New Zealand (August 5, 2001)

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Being in New Zealand is fun. As we discovered, New Zealand is 'New Holland" in Dutch.

New Zealand is in the Pacific Ocean. It is east of Australia, west of the Cook Islands, southwest of French Polynesia. There are two islands, one north and one south. Since the north island is closer to the equator, it is warmer. There are lots of mountains on both islands, because New Zealand was made by volcanoes, like any other island. We had to drive around those, as there was no other way to get to where we were going. In 1642, Abel Tasman saw New Zealand. He charted the bay but did not land. In 1769, Captain Cook landed in New Zealand.

At Rotorua there are many hot-pots and mud pots. We went on a tour to see hot-pots, mud-pots, geysers, steam vents and they all smelled like rotten eggs. 

We stayed at a farm at Gisborne. There were two boys there, a nine-year old named Alex and a seven-year old named Laurie. There were three dogs, Snooker, Nugget, and Giffer (or was it Geffer?) and there were two cats, D.C., Winnie, and three others that we didn't know their names. We did things like: fed baby sheep, fed a baby calf, climbed in the attic, played with the cats, played with Alex and Laurie, went to Alex's and Laurie's school and more. We had a lot of fun playing with Alex and Laurie.

Driving around was my least favorite part of New Zealand. Because we were driving around the mountains, the roads were extremely windy. To keep from getting sick, Joss and I each took one quarter of a Dramamine pill. After a while, Dad read to us from Lord of the Rings. Then we stopped to take a break at a place called Swingbridge. It is where New Zealand's longest swingbridge is kept (a swingbridge is a bridge supported by cables and wires that swings)-110 metres long! On the way back, Mom and Joss rode a comet line, which is like a mix of a ski gondola and a zip line, but Dad and I walked back on the bridge. Then we got back in the car and began driving again…


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