Even though the weather has not been cooperating this summer we have still managed to get out and enjoy the scenery. We have learned to take advantage of the sunshine while it is shining and head outdoors as soon as possible. The weather in Taranaki is constantly changing, if you don't like the weather just wait 10 minutes and it will change. I guess I was a little naive when moving here because I thought we would have warmer summers with lots of sunshine, but that has NOT been the case. The locals are saying this is one of the worst summer's they can remember. We have heard from many Kiwi's that the best months are Feb. and March, so we are looking forward to some blue sky days. The average temp. has been in the high 60's windy and overcast. Great for running, biking and hiking but a little chilly for boogie boarding, swimming and surfing. The wind is not your friend if your are a beginner stand up paddle boarder!! It makes for choppy water, large waves and good carnage.
There is a list of Taranaki's Must Do Experiences and my goal was to get through all 50 adventures and attractions ASAP. I am proud to say we have conquered all but 5 of the items. This list was voted on by the locals and ranges from a helicopter flight over Jurassic Falls to coffee at a coastal cafe. One we have not done and hope to when we get a stretch of nice weather is to trek to a hut on Mt. Taranaki and stay the night, and our favorite one was well........too hard to say, we have had fun trying them all!! Ironically one of the activities is to drive scenic World Forgotten Highway, so funny that we did that drive by accident and did not even know it was on Taranaki's Must do list.
The kids played with friends, we went the movies, and they even got to be Zoo Keeper's for a day @ the Pouakai Zoo. It was not much different than our summer's back home except we had a few more available options to choose from like hanging at the beach and/or playing up on Mt. Taranaki. We have really limited their TV time, and TV has become more of a treat than a normal activity in the house, and this has forced the kids to "play" together more than they ever did at home. By "play" I mean filling their time imaginatively and physically making use of whatever is around them. We do not have very many young kids that live within walking distance of our house and so my kids have relied on each other as their playmates. They have become the best of friends, especially Skyler and Owen. Lindsey loves to get lost in a book, but will join in sometimes. The kids were actually excited about going back to school and seeing their friends and meeting their new teachers. They will be swimming at school every day as swimming is part of the NZ curriculum.
|Owen watching his Daddy surfing.|
|Skyler trying SUP|
|This river is right next to our house. On windy days we will head to the river because the wind usually blows from the N or S and the the river runs E to W. So we are protected from the wind.|
|This is the Goblin Forrest where there are moss-covered gnarled trees and trailing ferns. This trail leads to the Wilkies Pools.|
|Lindsey was the only one brave enough to go swimming. The water was FREEZING, it was snow 24 hrs. ago. We were all very impressed she went for it!!|
|Mike's Organic Brewery, a great place for a beverage and they had a huge lawn for the kids to play on.|
|Beer in a 2L bottle, looks good to me!!|
|Playing Rugby at the Brewery|
|Ending the day at the Pukekura Park after a great hike and beer at the Brewery. That is Brad and the kids in the rowboat going around the pond.|
|Our kids do Surf Lifesaving on Sunday mornings. This is Owen's group.|
|Skyler and a team mate competing for the last stick.|