Over the Queen’s birthday weekend (beginning of June), Fran and I decided to rent a car and go on an adventure! Being the great planners that we are, we promptly booked the car weeks in advance. Then, the evening before departure, we decided it was time to decide where to go…
Essentially, we drove 4.5 hours to Napier just to walk around the town and eat Turkish food and drive back. It felt so good to be back on the road and I loved driving through the Rimutukas on our way out of Wellington. Those windy roads are so thrilling vrooooom vrooooom.
Napier, situated in the Hawke’s Bay region, was an alright little town on the waterfront. It’s the epicenter of wine haven and had we taken advantage of that, we may have had a true Hawke’s Bay experience. But we didn’t, so moving on…
Did I mention the Turkish food? YUM.
On our way home we stopped at Te Mata Peak near Hastings. This little gem of a spot surprised me with it’s epic views of the rolling hills. My favorite part of New Zealand are the endless rolling and wrinkly green hills that take over much of the landscape. Wrinkly is probably the most accurate way to describe the north island’s hills.
Lastly, Fran and I thought taking a ‘slight’ detour into the countryside would be a great idea. We estimated it would take about 30 extra minutes to get to the longest place name in the world (Guiness Book of World Records- check!). Wrong, it took over 2 hours. It’s amazing how easy it is to get so ‘deep’ into the countryside. In less than ten minutes it can instantly feel like you are lightyears away from any civilization.
So we drove and drove for decades until we found it. And boy is it long. Coming in at a whopping 85 characters, the english translation of the Maori place name is: “The place where Tamatea, the man with big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as ‘land eater’ played his flute to his loved one.”
Tamatea, a cheif warrior, lost his brother in a battle with another tribe. Tamatea sat on the hill for days playing his koauau (flute), lamenting the loss of his brother.
So that was our little trip to Napier:)