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Up Front Lahaina

April 29, 2010
Lahaina News

... Well, I’ve been missing in action these past few weeks on account of I’ve been on an overseas trip to New Zealand and the Fiji Islands, so this column will be more of a travel piece...


... It started with the announcement that Continental Airlines would begin flights to New Zealand and Fiji — great, I thought, because I have a gazillion miles on Continental and I’ll use them to take a trip to both places. The New Zealand portion is a co-share with Air New Zealand, and the trip to Auckland was very comfortable — even though I was in the back of the bus. The service was excellent — no matter what you asked for or needed, it was brought right away. More wine? Certainly sir! Arrival at Auckland through immigration and customs was painless, and the airport was modern, clean, painted and welcoming...


... My destination was Lake Taupo, a popular resort south of the North Island. At 7:30 in the morning, all was fresh and green with rolling hills. En route, I looked for the inevitable sheep, but nary a sheep was in sight. Cows... scores of cows... hundreds of cows... thousands of cows. In fact, we drove an hour before I saw my first sheep — I kid you not...


... I arrived at Taupo — a huge inland lake surrounded by picturesque mountains with a touch of white snow on the peaks...


... takeout in Taupo is gourmet — never mind your burger and fries. Even McDonald’s featured gourmet steaks and chicken a la whatever. Takeout menus are all over — great food!


... the lake itself is crystal clear. Caught three large, 18-inch trout in an hour! All manner of activities are at the lake, including a state-of-the-art parasail operation run by Maui boy IAN McKELVEY. Even took a flight myself — not bad for an old codger! Went up to 800 feet and loved it....


... took a trip to Rotarua — the town itself was disappointing and the lake is muddy. Doesn’t measure up to Taupo. Another side trip was to a thermal spa with people obviously enjoying the thermal mud. Then I spied a sign that said, “It is recommended that you do not submerge your head in the spa — meningitis could be the result.” Needless to say, I passed on enjoying that particular spot!...


... all in all, New Zealand is a beautiful country. The scenery is spectacular, the people warm and friendly, the food ono and the price is right!...


... arrived back home in time for LAHAINATOWN ACTION COMMITTEE’S Banyan Tree Birthday Party, another very successful LAC event with keiki games, clowns, music and birthday cake — a great family day!...


... and another kudo for West Maui is that our own RICHARD ENDSLEY took first place in the Maui Volunteer Center’s Awards for 2010 in the Seniors (age 60 or above) section. A very deserving award — congratulations Richard...


Up Front Lahaina is a twice monthly feature. To protect his innocence, the writer chooses to remain anonymous. The views expressed in this column belong to the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the Lahaina News staff and owners.

 
 
 

 

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