Day 20 found us in Hamilton, which to be honest was not really on our list of places to go, just kind of where we ended up, and so happy we did. Our first stop was Hamilton Botanical Gardens, I had been told if I ever got the chance to visit, so we did. Now, when they say if you only visit one garden in NZ it has to be this one…they are not over exaggerating, just stunning, especially the enclosed gardens, like outdoor rooms and each one a different theme. There are the Paradise Gardens and the Fantasy Gardens, so whimsical, so unique, totally amazing and we spent a great morning here, followed by a lovely coffee and cake – bonus!
A quick visit in town to the Rif Raf (Rocky Horror Picture fame) Statue which commemorates Richard O’Brien (we found parking notoriously difficult, so Moth dropped me off and then a trip around the block and picked me back up again). It’s a rather strange little spot, apparently, there are live feed cameras and they have Rocky Horror parties and such there.
We visited the ducks and geese at the Hamilton Lake Domain (a park), we then drove back out through Raglan to Hamilton’s Gap. -Such lovely Coastline around Waiuku, we continued on through even more stunning coastal views to the lighthouse at Manukau Heads. This is one of the very few lighthouses I have seen that you are allowed inside! Inside and up to the top, they have CCTV cameras and such and ask for a Gold Coin donation, but still…it’s rare.
After spending a few hours enjoying the view, we slowly headed back over to Auckland…tomorrow was our last full day here in New Zealand.