Earlier on this year, I realized that my New Zealand summer was quickly slipping away like sand through my fingers. The days were disappearing, getting shorter and before too long I’d be back on another flight to Ireland.
At the end of Day 3 of my central North Island adventure, I enjoyed a somewhat restful night at the Comfort Inn Academy in Tauranga. It was somewhat restful because I had a niggling thought that I should climb the peak at Mt Maunganui. So, before finally drifting off to sleep, I decided to wake early and catch the sunrise from the top of the peak.
After the morning’s bike experience in Napier, I had a taste for adventure. So on day 2 of my central North Island excursion, I made a beeline for Rotorua and all of its adventurey goodness (Note: This is Part 2 in a 3 part series of a North Island Road Trip – check out Part 1 here).
In less than three hours, I was pulling into the Econo Lodge Cleveland in Rotorua. The journey (and probably the bike ride earlier in the day) had worn me out so when I arrived I was keen for a nana nap to recharge the batteries.
In the heart of the Hawke’s Bay, Napier is a delight. It’s the perfect stepping off point for wineries, art deco architecture, beautiful beaches and the stunning Cape Kidnappers. Not that I saw any of those.
And I blame that on the Econo Lodge Napier.
Now let me backtrack a bit here. I was pretty pumped about setting off on a road trip through the middle of the North Island. My itinerary would see me visit Rotorua, Tauranga and Auckland and start in the picturesque coastal city of Napier.
I associate one thing with visits to Melbourne – DUMPLINGS. Beautiful, flavorful, pork, garlic, or shrimp filled dumpling goodness. In China, dumplings are laid out on New Years Eve to bring you wealth in the months ahead. In Melbourne’s Chinatown, any dumplings laid out on my table are inhaled immediately.