We are in New Plymouth for several days, just take a look at this glorious mountain which is looking down over us. Early mornings are often the best time to catch a glimpse of Mt Egmont without too many clouds obscuring the view. Also known as Mount Taranaki, it is New Zealand's most perfectly formed volcano. The mountain is around 120,000 years old and last erupted in 1775 and volcanologists agree that the mountain is 'dormant' rather than extinct.
If our little Gemma was interested in such things, she could look out the caravan window to admire the view of the mountain herself. But she is more interested with snoozing, eating, and chasing her little balls around inside.
Emma sleeping in the window
In fact, we got up close and personal to the snow on the mountain as we drove up to North Egmont Visitors Centre. The higher we drove, snow started appearing on the edges of the road, getting thicker the closer we got to our destination. The car park was full – being a Sunday it seemed everyone was out and about. Children were having fun playing in the snow, throwing the occasional snowball, and slipping and sliding about. We walked carefully up the snow covered walkway to the Look Out, which gave us a rather hazy view over New Plymouth. As I’m getting older, I find I’m a lot more concerned about falling when I’m walking in strange places – a sign of the times, I suppose.
Snow is quite a novelty to us where we live, and it’s more years ago than we can remember when we were last slipping and sliding about in snow. Lovely to see up close, and great to see so many people out and about enjoying themselves. The Visitors Centre also housed a café, so we carefully negotiated the snow covered steps and deck. A hot drink was in order, which we enjoyed looking out at the view through the large picture windows.
Holiday or not, the laundry must get done. Luckily there was a laundromat quite close to where we are camping, (I needed to use two machines) and being a nice sunny day, I could hang it all out on the clothesline at the camp.
Keeping the laundry up to date
We went for a short walk around the beautiful Pukekura Park today. The park covers 52ha (128 acres) right in the heart of the city and is one of New Zealand's premier botanical gardens. Standing right be the lake was a monument erected to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee (1897) of Queen Victoria. I’d never noticed this monument before, on earlier visits.
Monument to Queen Victoria
The lake is so beautiful and serene, surrounded by native trees and lush ferns, and with plenty of exotic flowering trees and shrubs too. Swans were swimming lazily by, and people were walking around the lake, a delightful place indeed
The waterfall was constructed in 1968 with the help of a generous donation to the City of New Plymouth from NZI. And close by on the path is a huge “Ficus Macrophylla” Morton Bay Fig which we stopped to admire.
Waterfall and imposing Morton Bay Fig
Our time at New Plymouth is almost over, and we are moving on tomorrow. Just done a little stitching on my New Zealand Botanical block, and then got my knitting out but only managed a few rows here and there, while Gemma is tucked up sound asleep. Once Gemma sees those knitting needles moving about invitingly she jumps up beside me and is all set to play with the needles, chew the wool, so it’s time to give up and pack it away again.
Not much knitting got done.