Saturday, 22 March 2014

Mount Maunganui to Napier

The destination was described as Tauranga, but the port is actually at Mount Maunganui, which is apparently about 5 kms out of the main town. There were shuttle buses ($5) available to take us into town, but since we occupied ourselves satisfactorily near the port (coffee places, shops and Mount Maunganui itself) and there didn't appear to be any particular reason to go into Tauranga (apart from visiting a shopping mall), we didn't make the effort. Nor did we participate in any of the ship-organised optional (and expensive) tours, including to Rotorua, the Hobbiton movie set plus others.

We encountered rough weather for the first time during the evening after departure from Mount Maunganui. Seemingly this was while crossing the Bay of Plenty, and things calmed down after rounding East Cape and we approached Napier across Hawke Bay.  However, the weather is quite cool and there is a bit of misty rain around.

Vintage cars waiting on the wharf at Napier
Napier of course is “art deco” territory. First impressions are that the tourist business is alive and well, but also that Napier is a busy regional centre and that there's more to it than all the interesting buildings.  We've just arrived so have a few hours to explore the place.

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