NZ: action and adventure

OK, this is definitely the last photo blog of our NZ holiday, we've already been home well over two weeks, the kids are back to school and I have a backlog of blogables!

But, I just can't resist posting a few more of these great photos of the kids out and about enjoying some different experiences...
....non island-style horse-riding (OK, that one's more fun at home!),
....visiting limestone caves, haven't we seen something like that before (oh yeah at home! but wait what about the glowworms)......
...now how about a cable car ride.....
.....seesaws and playgrounds...
.....ziplining over native forest...

.....eating lunch steamed by a geyser (that smells of rotten eggs!)......
....not forgetting encounters with giant carrots, memorable!


NZ: Festive season

Our holiday in NZ was an opportunity to expose my children to Christmas festivities, a little like back home in the UK.

In Tahiti we're not so Christmas oriented, it's a new thing that's catching on in Tahiti, but Rurutu not as much.

It's one of the things I miss...and even though NZ is southern hemisphere, so it's summer there too, it was reassuringly cold for us!
We managed to get to see snow (on Mt. Ruapehu, though we lost courage climbing up to touch it, too far, too cold!) and we did do a few Christmassy things... but no turkey (motel kitchens don't cut the mustard!) or Christmas pud (quite simply the kids don't like it!),

....but we also enjoyed our fill of summer fruits, with local cherries, strawberries and blueberries, what could be better!


NZ: City-slicking

OK, so Auckland is very accessible, a "small" big city. Ideal for our kids, they loved it, we did the Aquarium, the Zoo, the SkyTower (now there's a good lift for you!), fed the ducks at the pond, made use of the many playgrounds and the hotel's swimming pool!

But, after three days, Viriamu was fed up of the traffic and noise and bustle (the girls would have stayed on), so we headed out to the coast, nice to get a breath of fresh air and admire the horses! 
Before, a last day at the funfair!
It was the highlight of the kids' trip! 
It just got a bit delicate when we had to explain to Amaiterai that he couldn't go on the big roller-coaster!

NZ: the underlying reason

We had a few weeks in New Zealand over the holidays. Frankly, it was just time for me to get off-island for a while, and travelling with the kids was perfect! Of course, poor old Viri got a hideous cold on the plane and was sick almost the whole time (some people are just allergic to holidays!).

The main reason for going was to attend a family gathering in Wellington, at the graveside of Viriamu's great-great-great-great grandfather, a certain Paora Parau, who died in 1892 and was buried in Lower Hutt, a respected maori leader, but as it turns out also a French Polynesian chief, once holding the title of King Teuruarii the III of Rurutu (and no he's not a member of the current Teuruarii lineage)! In New Zealand he was thought to have died without descendants. However, he had left three sons in the Austral Islands, when he left the island to go to the Cook Islands, and finally NZ, around the time it became a French Protectorate - his alliances remaining with the chiefly families that supported the British! Now, the genealogies demonstrate that he has a huge family across the Pacific.

Some three hundred of these made the journey to Wellington on December 23rd, 2017. A new and renovated headstone was unveiled and the family was received on a maori marae, an important acknowledgement of this family history by the New Zealand's indigenous population.

We tagged along, with the kids, my mother-in-law, one of my sisters-in-law and a nephew too! It was a remarkable event.

But, it was also a great excuse to get out and about with the kids. I've been to New Zealand several times now, but was great fun to see it through my children's eyes. The novelty of big cities, escalators and lifts! It's true you can get a taste of it in Papeete, but NZ is on a larger scale altogether. Next time Tokyo!!!

On our last day (New Years Day) the kids chose to go to a shopping mall (everything was open! In Rurutu not even the bakers make bread on the 1st!), to the cinema to see Pitch Perfect 3, the girls also got their haircut and styled for the first time(there's no hairdresser on Rurutu). It was girly heaven!