A Travellerspoint blog

It’s a Green, Green, Green, Green World

semi-overcast 27 °C

We recently visited the onetime home of English captain James Cook in Whitby, Yorkshire, and have now tracked his voyage to the ends of the earth – to Gisborne, New Zealand, where he first landed in 1769. His statue on the promenade commemorates that event…
Cook and his men understandably mistook the fearsome Maori greeting, (the Haka), as aggression and killed one of the welcoming party. Cook’s sailors then fled fearing an attack and named the place Poverty Bay because they were unable to replenish their stores. Somewhat strangely, Canada celebrated this inauspicious event on the 200th anniversary by erecting this ‘Indian’ (sic) totem pole near the landing place...
The James Cook observatory which overlooks Gisborne harbour is one of the first places to greet the rising sun each day and Queen Elizabeth II has twice visited the observatory during her reign…
However, they wouldn’t let us mere mortals in because the building fails to comply with the latest earthquake codes. (We bet they’d let Liz in if she came back).

The warm sunshine, moist South Pacific winds and volcanic soil makes this land one of the most fertile places in the world and we have never seen such a varied agriculture anywhere. In addition to the ubiquitous kiwi fruit, there are orchards of oranges, lemons, tangerines, peaches, plums, apples and pears. There are vineyards galore producing world class wines, and there are fields of corn, tomatoes, cauliflowers, potatoes and all manner of vegetables.
Trees and plants from all over the globe flourish here and many can be seen at the national arboretum in Ngatapa…
Huge flocks of sheep and herds of cattle graze the lush pastures (and frequently wander
onto the roads) and it is a treat to have fabulous local lamb and delicious cheese at a fraction of the price we pay at home. There is also an abundance of fresh seafood and green-lipped mussels are a speciality. They are sold in Canada but never like this…
We could only manage four monstrous mussels apiece – but that was enough reason to visit New Zealand on its own.

Green is the predominant colour in New Zealand. With only four and half million people in a country bigger than Great Britain it is not surprising that we can drive for hours without seeing more than a handful of people. The cities are small, the towns are tiny and rural communities are just a few scattered farms – the rest is just a field of green as far as the eye can see. Even the sea is a perfect shade of turquoise in Hawke’s Bay at Napier…
Next time on Blissful Adventures - New Zealand's famous volcanic geysers. Congratulations to Samchow who knew that folks dig into the sand at Hot Water Beach at low tide to reach the hotsprings.

Posted by Hawkson 00:44 Archived in New Zealand

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You are bringing back old memories to me. And going to places I never got to. I am off to Colombia on Feb.16 to visit Kelly and sleep in the bed that you slept in and look forward to being warm! love

by Jean McLaren

Those are definitely the biggest mussels I've ever seen. Must be the warm water. More than a mouthful I'm sure. Done in NZ white wine?

by R and B

Soothing for the eyes, all that sunshine and green. We are grey and wet here. A bit of envy.

by Sue Fitzwilson

It looks lovely. If Trump is elected President south of our border, this might be an option to emigrate.

by Janet

Ah, to be in shorts again! Yesterday was almost mild enough here, but just a teaser months in advance. Lovely Turquoise. Plant your flag and rename it Hawkson Bay! We used to be able to do things like that. Great photos. Brings back memories of my trip.

by Tom

Having spent 7 weeks in NZ in Oct/Nov I am enjoying your reviews- so well done! Thank you so much for the memories!!

by Rosemary

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