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New Plymouth.

NEW ZEALAND | Monday, 4 February 2008 | Views [777]

New Plymouth, almost the namesake of our home in the UK; Plymouth.  A lovely city, on the Edge of the Tasman Sea and overlooked by Mt Taranaki; the Volcano we had seen from the South Island walk up Mt Stokes.  We arrived around midday, and had a good look around the City centre; same as any other City really but along the Sea front were the most creative stone sculptures we had seen so far.  It turned out that New Plymouth is really big into Art, Sculpture and entertainment; all free and on ever year in the summer.  The City has live bands and singers on every night at the local park, some night bigger names than others, they also have a light display on at the same park to coincide with the live acts; this years opening act was Sir Elton John no less.  Of course, while we were there I would like to say they had the best acts on BUT we all know that would be a fib; we had a Cliff Richard tribute artist followed by a ‘Yiddish’ folk music band not our sort of thing good timing hey?  We opted for an evening at the Cinema with some more backpackers from the Hostel, it was budget night $7 for any film; that’s £2.10 to see the new Will Smith ‘I am Legend’ beats our UK prices.  The next day we headed for the again free small Zoo in the park, with all sorts of small animals for the local children to come and see for a free day out; all by donation only so why can’t we do this sort of thing at home in the UK for our young ones (okay for Em & I also)  We wandered back down to the Sea front to see how the stone sculptors were getting on, it’s great how in NZ you can have Artist grinding, chiselling and polishing stones for the public to see without all the ‘H&S’ stuff that comes with our ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ culture; we are missing out on so much with that attitude un-like here in this forward thinking small country of New Zealand.  As you can see from the photos, how they see the various forms inside the stone still beats me; could you have seen the perched Kiwi in the rock?  The next day we thought we would head out of town to explore Mt’ Taranaki, our first stop was the Stratford Plateau which offered a lovely 1 ½ Km walk to the Manganui ski field; which of course is free of snow this time of year but still an eye opener to the views.  Another eye opener was the fact that we were joined on our short walk over rock and dry streambed by a very chatty 81 year young lady, who by her own admission had worn the wrong shoes to climb mountains; but that didn’t stop her from walking over to lodge telling her son to go on ahead as she was fine.  Oh how I hope we have that outlook on life at her age!  We headed over to the Dawson Falls walk, a great selection of walks for all abilities here, we chose a good short walk to the pools; around 2 hour loop return and well worth the small amount of effort.  We had to head back, cloud closing in and we wanted to keep an eye on the stone Sculptures to see if any were finished yet?  We were heading down to Wananui the next morning.

Tags: Sightseeing

 

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