The 42nd National Jazz Festival
8th - 12th April 2004
Bay of Plenty's beautiful seaside atmosphere!!
THE BAY COURT CONCERT SERIES
Specially themed concerts with music spanning the decades from New Orleans, Chicago, and Latin America, all with a unique Antipoedean flavour. Big Bands or Bossa, be-bop pr blues...great variety.
THE DOWN TOWN JAZZ CARNIVAL
Sat and Sun afternoons of easter, Downtown Tauranga is open for Mardi Gras style celebrations with fine foods, wines and music throughout the bars, cafes restaurants and on street corners...free to all public.
Address: bars, cafes restaurants and on street corners
Going over the Kai Mai's at sunset is beautiful. I have done it several times and hardly anything beats the views. You can go that way to Auckland and it's quicker than going along the coast. Although the coast drive is still very pretty. Just do this drive if you know you will encounter the sunset. Enjoy!
Waimarino Adventure Park and Adventure Tours were our hosts and guides for this amazing tour. There's always something satisfying and adventurous with an activity where you have input into your own enjoyment. In this case, it was kayaking, and therefore paddling oneself. In our case we had a dull rainy wet but mild evening. In many ways this added to the atmosphere and indeed allowed the glow worms to appear very bright and impressive.
Having a couple of guides allowed us to go somewhere we would not normally venture alone.
Waimarino have an adventure park and base in Bethlehem, a town not far out of Tauranga. This kayak tour involves a van ride into the hills, to McLaren Falls Park, to Lake McLaren and the glow worm rocks. McLaren Falls Park is a very pretty place in itself.
Here, lakeside, you enjoy fruit and cheese platters, with nice local wine to meet the other participants, and to await the nightfall. You are kitted out in kayak gear, and instructed on procedures for the coming adventure. Our two guides made us feel happy, confident and excited. These guys were passionate about what they were doing, and amazingly knowledgable on the life cycle of the glowworms !
We set off, paddling up the lake, in the warm drizzling rain blindly following our guides' headlights.
The kayaks were very stable and we felt safe, not being very experienced at this.
Near the head of the lake, we found an old power station, and a swift neck in the waterflow, so the guides rafted us up and actually towed us in 4's past this point. That in itself was some feat, making us realise these guys were in fact superhuman!
Once past that point, and by this time very dark, we blindly followed their lights up into the narrow neck of the feeling river of the lake. Here we found a canyon where the glow worms lived. Recent high water levels meant the lower glow worms were gone, but the ones still left on the rock faces were just stunning. As I said earlier, having cloud cover and rain just meant the glow worms seemed brighter and really easy to see once your eyes had acclimatised to the dark.
The guides gave us a very detailed, knowledgable and interesting talk about glowworms.
We thoroughly enjoyed and recommend this adventure.
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Refreshments and glow worm kayak trip $120 each
Seated Dinner lakeside and glow worm kayak trip $170 each
Buoyancy and weather protection gear provided.
**glowworm photo provided by waimarino.com for use here**
Address: 36 Taniwha Place Bethlehem Tauranga 3172
Phone: 07 576 4233
- Family Travel
On 17th avenue, and free to get in but very dead at 430pm on a Winter Saturday
Old recreated village with old buildings and a cafe with art and craft shops
Worth stopping off for a bit and probably better when busy!