Monthly Archives: June 2023

Redwood Tree Walk & Swing Brudges

Rotorua is the home of the famous Redwood Tree Walk across 28 swing bridges and 27 platforms.  You are over 20 meters above the ground as you walk 700 meters across the sky.  It is thrilling.

The swing bridge walking trail is shown in the first top left photo.  Matt is showing you how wide these majestic redwood trees can grow.  The widest tree in Rotorua is 72m tall and 12.6m wide.  

It is easy to feel insignificant amongst these giant trees. 

A local artist was hired to bring light art features to illuminate the redwoods at night.  David Trubridge created over a dozen pieces throughout the forest.

This is the tallest platform on the redwood tree walk which requires you to climb up a long flight of swing stairs.

The biggest rule is to NOT touch the trees.  It requires great restraint to not touch these beautiful trees, but the boys push the limits (they didn’t actually touch the tree).

New Zealand is doing a lot to save the forests and regrow their trees.  But in the lower photo you can see what deforestation has done to this country.

A spectacular adventure and so very beautiful.  There are dozens of walks in and around the redwood forest as well.  We opted to do the short 30minute walk as we had to head off to the Polynesia Spa.

Events from this blog occurred in mid-March.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind actual events.  We take a float plane over Rotorua in our last blog post – did you miss it?

Float Plane Over Rotorua

Rotorua is a huge adventure city with lots of activities to kick up your adrenalin.  But in the end we only had a day and a half in this fun city.  We decided take a float plane over Rotorua, do the Redwood Tree Swing bridge walk and spend a few hours at Polynesia Spa.

Float Plane

Volcanic Air  set us up on a DHC-3 De Havilland Otter.  Our captain, Callum gave us really great commentary during our 35 minute flight.

Our take off point is just off of Lake Rotorua where we have less than 1′ depth at the departure point.  It is a very shallow lake that is a bright green from the algae bloom.

We pass by Nokia Island which is a protected island full of dozens of New Zealand birds.

More beautiful shots of Lake Rotorua.

The bottom left photo is a picture of Rotorua.

Volcano Fly Over

Callum flew us over the Mount Tarawere Volcano.  At first it just looked like a vast dry area, but as we got closer and flew over the crevice you could clearly see the volcano.

The colors around the volcano are spectacular.   The last time it erupted in 1886 and was the largest and most destructive event in New Zealand’s history.

There are lots of amazing bike tracks and hiking trails all over the mountainsides of Rotorua.

The top photo is Sulfur Bay which has a white layer spread across the top.  The lower left photo is of the frying pan and Inferno lake.  The Frying Pan is the worlds largest hot spring and Inferno Lake is crystal clear blue water.  The lower right is a beautiful new tree farm.

We return over Lake Rotorua and head back to “base.”  But just before we get there we fly over a large logging company.  Luckily, NZ forces them to plant new trees to make up for some of the trees they log.

It was a really cool experience to fly in a float plane.  A first for all of us.  We had super calm winds and weather conditions were good.  Our pilot was super experienced and informed us of Rotorua’s history and geographical high points.  Super fun experience.

Events from this blog occurred around mid-March.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind actual events.  Did you check out our last blog post on the geothermal pools?

Bye Bye Bertie

My father, Bertie, passed away in early June after fighting colo-rectal cancer for over five years.  He was a fierce and stubborn man who went out on his own terms surrounded by family and loved ones.  I was blessed enough to be able to spend several weeks with him this year (3 weeks in February, 3 weeks in March and a few days in June before he passed).  

My sister and I organized a lovely celebration of life.  We started out with a simple, but loving ceremony at St. Cross Episcopal Church. 

We all walked over to Kimberly’s house where we had a beautiful lunch catered for everyone.  We put together these fun and fabulous collages and Kimberly created the stunning floral bouquets. 

We had cousins attend that we have not seen in decades.  It was so much fun getting to know them again.

More friends and family

A few hours after the luncheon, immediate family headed to Long Beach.  We boarded The Angels Ashes boat called Orion and headed out into the bay.  We scattered his ashes in a sea of rose petals.

Slowly the tide took both the ashes and petals out to sea where hopefully my dad will protect us on our sailing journey.

Afterward, the Konis family and I went to have dinner at the Yard House.

A Time for Reflection

My good friend Kathryn took me to the Huntington Library.  They are famous for their amazing rose garden (my dad loved roses).  Also known as Bertie’s buds.

On the grounds they have beautiful bridges, sculptures, and nooks to hang out and reflect.

They also had gorgeous Chinese and Japanese gardens that too our breaths away.

It was a long and heartbreaking few weeks after he passed.  I know that is he is in a much better place, is no longer suffering, and is free.  But my selfish side just breaks.  I am so grateful for the time we had together.  I will miss you dad, aka Bertie.

Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind live events.  This blog posts occurred in early June.