Wednesday, December 5, 2012


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!


  1. This is fascinating stuff. A volcano right there? I had no idea. Hamilton Gardens reminds me of Buchart Gardens in British Columbia. So beautiful.
    Your dress is very flattering - I really like it on you!

    1. Hi Beryl, I forgot to name the volcano: Mt. Eden. Has a great view over the city. I have heart of Buchart Gardens, and hoping to see them on the way to see the new grandson in 2013. Love my LBD!!

  2. Wonderful! I didn't know Auckland had a 'local' volcano either! Volcanos and NZ are on my 'must do' list. Thanks for sharing and you look fab in your LBD.

    1. It was a 3 day trip, but we crammed in a lot. Had to visit the volcano because I was last there with my Dad over 40 years ago! I wish every dress was like the LBD..

  3. What an adventure and the photos are brilliant, this is my very first visit here, I read your comment on the Silver bunny blog, I joined as a follower to keep up on your posts, best wishes from Canada!

  4. Hi Laurie and welcome to the Red Cardinal blog. I read your profile and love that you are an artists. We love art on this blog! And of course, we have 2 precious grandsons in Canada, not so far from you. Silver bunny is lovely, isn't she?

  5. Looks like a good trip. I never heard the phrase "across the ditch" before. Funny!


    1. Just one of those odd Australian sayings! We packed a lot into 3 days, and it was fun to do.

  6. Hoping you had a grand time at the corporate event. Both AustrLis and New Zealand seem such exotic pla aves and I would dearly love to see both. What beautiful flowers you saw! Glad you are safely back home. I love LBDs and yours is very nice!

    1. Definitely had a grand time at the Christmas event! We don't feel particularly exotic over here, but we often feel very far away from the rest of the western world. New Zealand is great for flower lovers, with a cool rainy climate and all that volcanic soil.

  7. " Please take care in this suffocating heat ", well I would certainly appreciate some of that heat up here ; ).
    Anyways, so nice, that you had a small break and got to see so many new places on your visit.
    By now you are back, is the heat still on?

    1. Well, Mette, it is still hot, but not so bad as last weekend. Just the normal tropical summer days at the moment, with a few storms.