Thursday, December 12, 2019

New Zealand - Kauri Cliffs - December 11th, 2019

This morning, we leave the beautiful Cape Kidnappers for Kauri Cliffs.  Owned by the same American, Julian Robertson, Kauri Cliffs should be the same amazing experience as Cape Kidnappers! 

Today is a travel day.  We are leaving Cape Kidnappers at 11:00 to catch our charter flight to KeriKeri - still on the north island of New Zealand.  The flight is just over an hour and twenty minutes.  

When we landed in KeriKeri, we had the option of going straight to the golf course to play, or to the Marsden Estate winery for lunch.  Well, they had me at “Lunch.”  But lunch at a winery is a bonus.  

Marsden Vineyard.
Stevie and Julie

Dianne and Brad

Diane and Richard “Dick”
This tasty lunch setting was in a grapevine trellised terrace over looking a lovely garden with ponds, swans and lush landscaping.  The wine was good.  The short ride to Kauri Cliffs with Bernie afterwards was informative ... for those of us still awake.  I have to admit, my eyelids did close for most of the ride. 

In 2015, I played Kauri Cliffs while on a trip to New Zealand with my friends Bruce and Gail and their group from the Vintage Country Club in the desert.  We flew up from Auckland for the day to play this golf course.  And since we had to catch a flight back to Auckland the same day, I didn’t get to finish all 18 holes.  So I’ve got some catching up to do. 

View from my gorgeous room.

Stevie and I enjoying a glass of wine before dinner on the terrace of my room.

The suites here are absolutely beautiful. Overlooking the Pacific and the golf course.  Stevie’s suite is right next door.  We over look hole number 10.
The views from the lodge are absolutely stunning.  I’d remembered Kauri Cliffs to be beautiful, but not this beautiful!  WOW!  I can’t wait to get on the course tomorrow.  

The trek up to the lodge from our room was a bit strenuous, but we stop along the way for photos and to examine the foliage.

These gardens are manicured to perfection.

Always a fitting greeting for a cocktail party!

Diane and Dianne.

Stevie and Julie enjoying the view from the lodge.

View from the lodge. Breathtaking.

Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Stevie and I have been paired today with Margo and Sally.  We played with them in Queenstown in the miserable rain.  I don’t recall it being a particularly enjoyable round of golf.  NOT because of Sally’s and Margo, but because the weather was so horrible.  So I was grateful to get to play with these fun ladies again on the prettiest golf course in the world on a beautiful day.  

Stevie finally brought out Donald

Gotta love these clubcovers.

Julie, Margo, Sally and Stevie on hole number 16.

We were several holes ahead of the entire field, so we took time to take some photos.

Margo, Sally and Julie

Not sure, but I think I parred this difficult, but beautiful hole.

OK.  Stevie had a difficult shot here.  WTF??!!
We had a great round of golf, all of us participating in some way to score well.  I shot 87 on my own ball, which is very good for me.  I don’t think we won anything, except having the most fun.  Best round of golf since playing in Cape Kidnappers with Brad and Dianne.  

After golf and lunch, we ventured to the farm where Todd did a demonstration with his sheep herding dogs.  He controlled his dogs with a whistle or verbal command.  

This is Jessie getting acquainted with Stevie.  What a cool dog.  She’s 13 years old and still rounds up the sheep.

This is Todd, the sheep herder and shearer.  These New Zealanders  like their short shorts.
The dogs were amazing and controlled the sheep’s every move by obeying commands from Todd.  Well except for when the dog ran the sheep into a wire fence.  A stunned Todd said that was not part of the show.  The sheep hopped up and ran someplace else.  One of the sheep had a bloody nose.  I felt so sorry for them.  That had to be embarrassing even for a sheep.

This is not Todd’s field of expertise.  He’s a shepherd.  But he did a fine job of sheering.  A professional sheerer can sheer over 300 sheep in a day’s time.  Usually one sheep per minute and get paid roughly $5.00 per sheep.  Took Todd about 2 minutes to give this gal a haircut.

She seemed a bit shy after her haircut and the other two were hiding her.

After the herding demonstration, Todd took us to the wool shed, where he sheered a sheep.  At first, the sheep seemed frightened, but then settled in and seemed to enjoy the sheering.  

On the way back to the lodge, we stopped to visit the largest living Kauri Tree in Kauri Cliffs.  This massive tree resembles our redwoods.  Our friends, Margo and Sally set out on a hike and walked for hours to reach this tree.  We hopped out of the van, walked about 100 yards to reach the tree, snapped a few photos and enjoyed the majestic beauty of the Kauri Tree, and then went back to the van for a the short ride back to the lodge.

These trees can live for a long time.  This one is estimated to be approximately 1000 years old.  They try to preserve it by requiring guests to clean their shoes in a disinfectant before entering the raised wooden pathway to the tree.

We had a fabulous dinner tonight with new friends, Dianne, Brad, Diane and Dick.  

We had an amazing moon rise tonight. Tomorrow is supposed to be a full moon.  I’ll be ready!!
Tomorrow is our last day of golf.  We get to play with Diane and Dick.  

Stay tuned.

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