My recent holiday to NZ was a bit of a whirlwind trip - flew into Auckland, drove down to Napier and back, stopping along the way at Taupo and Rotorua.
Lake Taupo panaroma - trying out the new iphone 5 function!
Lunch on Ken's birthday, along with his parents, was at Elephant Hill, a lovely restaurant and winery in Hawkes Bay
The restaurant overlooks a water feature and the vineyards
Complimentary house baked bread with olive oil and whipped butter
It was a weekday lunch so, other than a handful of other tables, we pretty much had the whole restaurant to ourselves!
Prawn & portabello open ravioli, pancetta & picada sauce
Was debating what an open ravioli would look like, but it worked well as you could see all the ingredients. The juicy prawns worked well paired with the salty pancetta.
Akaroa salmon, roasted beetroot, Persian feta rocket and mustard hollandaise
Tried a little bit of this dish and really enjoyed the sweet roasted beetroot
Juniper crusted venison, short loin, butternut mousse, cauliflower couscous
This was my dish - the confit duck, smoked mushroom creme, local baby vegetables
The smoked mushroom was very interesting, it had a dehydrated texture and was intensely smoky in flavour.
Fancy salad :)
After lunch we went on our way to find 'The longest name place', but before that we stopped at this little fruit shop with the aim of picking up some strawberries
The shop had a cute little resident beagle, who was eager for a pat
But I think the ultimate goal was to try to score some food hehe
Before we went to lunch, we detoured to Bluff Hill lookout
Giving the panorama feature another workout :P
Driving around the north island of New Zealand is not unlike any long distance drive in Australia, though it is much more lush, green and mountainous.
We were never short of scenic lookouts to stop at, and this one was a bit of a surprise - we found a waterfall!
On the way to the longest name place, we chanced upon a sheep herding session right next to our car - definitely a memorable moment!
The longest name place... I won't even attempt to pronounce it!
Beach literally across the road from Ken's parents place. I use the term beach loosely as the 'sand' is just tiny black pebbles that probably wouldn't be the most comfortable to sit on. It sure is pretty and photogenic though!