While the rest of you Queenslanders were expiring in the worst December heatwave in years,
the Red Cardinals dashed across the Tasman Sea - over the Ditch, according to Mr C - to Auckland, New Zealand, for a corporate Christmas Event...
An enormous troll-like being greeted us in the Arrival Hall.
Yes, a Hobbit, and no chance to be unaware of a Film Premiere the other day.
My new LBD went along -
cost per wear has come down considerably over the past month.
Our hotel overlooked Auckland's magnificent harbour ..
and some attractive old stone buildings.
Party over, the next morning we visited the local volcano:
as if I would!!
Nice green crater, much steeper than it looks in the picture.
I wonder if it will ever blow up again?
Driving south from Auckland, we found an interesting tearoom at Rangiriri ...
Now, my knowledge of New Zealand history is very basic, but I have heard of the Maori Wars.
Back in the 1860s, when Britain was establishing a colony here, the local Maori people tried to defend their land. As you would.
Here's the Battle of Rangiriri, in miniature.
There were lots of photos - heros from both sides of the conflict -
medals, weapons, etc.
I was amused to see this music, composed for the Officers of Her Majesty's Forces!
How times have changed ..
But sadly, nations continue to go to war.
We drove to Hamilton, and enjoyed the fabulous Hamilton Gardens:
Next stop: Matamata, a town close to a secluded film location.
I'll tell you about it in the next post.
Please take care in this suffocating heat!