Monthly Archives: February 2013

One Tree Hill

One tree Hill is in the middle of the city of Auckland, in a park called Cornwall Park.

The funny thing about one tree hill is that at top there isn’t a tree, because some random guy chopped it down because it was an English tree, and when England came to invade New Zealand they planted that tree there on top of the hill because that random guy thought that the tree represented all the bad things that had been happening to New Zealand. So that random guy thought that he would chop it down with an axe.

One Tree Hill is also a place where they had a memorial for a Maori chief and in honour of the Maori people. One Tree Hill is also a volcano which could erupt at any second. When you are at the top you can see lots of other volcanoes in Auckland.

It is also a Maori hill so they lived there in little huts to defend from strangers. Now it is completely surrounded by the city of Auckland. Here is my video of One Tree Hill so you can see what it is like. I was born only a couple of miles from there.

Hobbiton!

Today is a very exciting day because we are going to Hobbition. But first we are going to the Buried Village.

We are staying in a holiday home with Aunty Jilly my Godmum and her dog named Jess. It is her birthday this week. The holiday home is by Lake Tarawera, which is next too a large volcano that has three craters. This volcano was the most recent large volcano eruption in New Zealand. It erupted in 1886 on June 10th.

When it erupted it buried the pink and white terraces. The pink and white terraces were layers and layers of rock created by the steaming geysers that lots of people used to visit. This was a real treasure to New Zealand and one of the eight wonders of the world.

The mud also buried a maori village. They dug it up with a spade and a brush so we could view it. We saw a secret passage way in one of the houses which went into the wall. There was also a sewing machine in a tree and a cannon which wasn’t called a cannon.

Sam and Anna at Bag End in Hobbiton

Sam and Anna at Bag End in Hobbiton

After that we went to Hobbition, which was in the middle of a sheep farm. First when we came in we saw a nice mans hobbit hole who had a grumpy wife, this is where Gandalf and Frodo first ride in on their carriage. And then lots of hobbits children come running up to Gandalf and begged him to do some magic and he makes some fireworks.

After that we walked into the main part of Hobbiton. Everything was grown naturally with no sprays and there was lots of vegetables which the hobbits plant, look after and eat. In reality there are 8 gardeners who do all this work and they don’t like to be called hobbits!

At the top of the hill was Bagend also known as Underhill, which is where Frodo and Bilbo live. It is the biggest hobbit hole.

The we walked down the hill and got to the party field and party tree and that is where Bilbo had his birthday party and he loved it.

At the end of our quest we went to the Green Dragon and had a nice glass of Ginger Beer and a muffin. I would like to live in Hobbiton and stay there forever.

Steaming Geysers and Maori War Dance

Today we went to see steaming geysers and boiling mud pools at Rotorua. First we went to the Maori show, there were Maoris doing dances and had a spear called a Taiaha. The Taiaha was good for distracting, poking and whacking their enemies, and I got to hold one and chat to the warriors.

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After that we went to see some Kiwis. When the female has the egg, the last week she can’t eat anything at all because the egg is too big in her tummy. So when she lays the egg she leaves home and she leaves all the work to the male. The male has to sit on the egg for the last 90 days.

Next we went to see a mud pool, which was all gloopy and smelly, and there were bubbles popping out of it. They were the gas leaving the mud from deep underground. Then we went to see the Geyser and it started erupting just as we got there. The water in the Geysers is steaming and boiling on the way up, but when it comes back down from the air it is cold again. The chemicals coming up from underground left colours everywhere, yellow, green and orange. And they stink.

This is a steaming geyser errupting

This is a steaming geyser errupting

Next we went to a proper Maori village where they used to live. There were houses off the ground, and they had very small doors. They hang out fish to dry in the sun. They use the cooking pots and place layers and layers of food on top of each other. Then from underground the warmth cooks the food and then they just pick it up and eat it. They had a Maori canoe called a Whaka.

In the evening we got to go and see glow worms. They were just like little dots on the bank of the Williams’ lane, and you could poke your head through the bushes to see them. Some of them flashed and some were really bright. They were white.

Staying on a New Zealand Sheep Farm

This is me learning to ride a quad bike

This is me learning to ride a quad bike

Today we are staying on a farm belonging to Rodney and Ange and their daughter Margie. The farm is 3000 acres and has about 4000 sheep. We met the sheep dogs and one of them was half retired. They are called Sue, Jess and Plug. You are not allowed to pet the working dogs unless they have worked hard, but you can pet Buddy who is the house dog.

This morning I went out on a quad bike, with the working dogs (and Buddy) on a trailer, to the shaving house where you shave sheep. Rodney sheared two sheep. One of them really needed to be shaved as it has very long wool.

In the afternoon we went jet boating. Jet boats don’t have a propeller, just a jet, so it can go in shallow water.

The fertiliser plane landing on the airstrip

The fertiliser plane landing on the airstrip

This was down the Wanganui River and we jet boated through the rapids. Someones canoe got smashed in half, we tried to help them rescue their canoe. They were ok.

We went swimming and we jumped off the rocks. There was a strong current so we had to swim strongly to get back to the shore.

The next morning we went to watch the airplane they use for fertilizing. The hills are so steep here and the farm so large they have to use a plane not a tractor.

Below is a video of us on the jet boat.

Hot Water Beach

Today we had to get up really early because we were going to hot water beach. It is called hot water beach because if you dig a hole in the sand in the right place it will fill up with hot water. You can only get the hot water when the tide is low which is why we had to get up early. It is hot because below the sand there are hot rocks which warm the water. When the water is warm it rises to the surface.

The first hole we dug was quite cold and then we found someone with a hot pool and we started to dig next door to them. The neighbouring pool was very hot, you could see the hot water flowing into it from underneath the sand.

When we put our hands under the sand of our pool, it was really hot. After a while the waves eliminated our pools with a big destroying splash. We went to get dry and then had a big breakfast of pancakes.

Later we went to Cathedral Cove, it is called that because there is a big stone arch at the beach. We went for a swim and then stood under a waterfall to shower after the swim.
In the evening I went for another swim and I helped Daddy collect mussels from the mussel rock and they were bigger than ones in England. We ate them for dinner.

Being in a Volcanic Eruption

Today I went to a museum and in the museum there was a shaking house. We didn’t realise it was a shaking house at first we just saw a sofa and the TV was on. There was a window with a view of a volcano and a town. The news was on. It was telling us about an eruption and how everyone should be leaving town. Please watch the video below, it is quite surprising.

We also found out there are 48 volcanoes in Auckland, the one we could see out of the window of the shakey house is called Rangitoto and it erupted 600 years ago. All these volcanoes are dormant but not extinct. This means they could erupt again!

Two days in Guangzhou China

When we started the plane ride we got a bag of goodies that we might need on the plane, like toothpaste, toothbrush, eye masks and ear-plugs. On the plane we had breakfast before we landed in China. The first thing we noticed about China was that it was very smoggy, because of all the cars and factories, because 19.4% of the people in the world (one in 5) live in China (we looked up the population and worked this out).

We could not work out what these animals were!

We could not work out what these animals were!

We went to the market and saw lots of animals, rabbits, dogs, terrapins, crabs, lizards, fishes, gerbils and mice, and they were all for sale. In the restaurants in China we saw on the menu crocodile, shark, abalone, beetles, eel, snake, live frogs and crabs!

We went to a bird park by going up in a cable car, there were white peacocks, normal peacocks, emu, parrots, orange ducks, pheasant, lots of doves, a seagull sitting on a roof fan. Then I watched a show about birds, there was a bird sliding down a slide, a bird hoisting a flag, a bird bowling, a bird tightrope walking, a bird cycling on a bicycle, going on roller skates, and riding on a scooter. And if you held up a note or money a bird will come and take it from you. There was a bird band and they were all parrots.

A Parrot sitting on my shoulder

This is a picture of me with one of the parrots on my shoulder.

In the orchid garden we went to a traditional Chinese Tea House where we had traditional Chinese tea. The toilets were a hole in the ground and the sink was rather strange. The part was decorated for the Chinese new year, and I went on a roller coaster and it was very fast and twisty.

There are lots of people in China and lots of people spit. Nothing is said in English. We went to a Bhuddist temple and monks lived there. They had smart phones!  Everyone was bowing and praying and lighting incense which stunk. We got around by taxi because we could not find the train stations.

After two days in China we went back to the airport to fly to New Zealand.