We've been here for 2 months here (almost exactly!) and we're starting to feel that we're settling here. Our house in Lower Hutt went unconditional a couple of weeks ago, which made a huge difference to how we feel. Much more relaxed - everything goes through on 3 July, with the Lower Hutt house selling and this one becoming ours.
Unfortunately, our ancient and decrepit 20-year-old Ford finally decided that we'd given it enough work and started to develop some rather alarming bad habits, including random engine overheating, radiator leaks, and occasionally deciding that it wasn't going to go at all - we poured a lot of money into it to make it go again, with another large dollop on the very near horizon to keep it running, so we finally decided that it might be time to find a new beast. There's now a nice shiny new 3-door toy car keeping mine company out there. It looks so tiny you feel you could pick it up in your hands, but it goes like stink and its lovely to drive. It will cheerfully do the run to Wellington, and if hubby decides he wants to take my car for the long haul, I'd be happy driving the toy to work.
Today was a wonderful day: we climbed Rainbow Mountain, just out of Rotorua. 2 hours each way, 743m elevation... with GORGEOUS views over the whole of the central north island, as far as Mts Ruapehu and Tongariro, and over to Mt Tarawera on the other side, and I counted about 8 lakes we could see too. There was also the whole of the Waipa and Kaiangaroa State Forests. Trees uncountable, reaching as far as the eye could see (and we could see a very long way from up there!).
Rainbow Mountain is a very benign, friendly place, and so beautiful: the rocks range from brilliant yellow, brown, dead white, pink, and vivid, incredible red through the trail and up the vertical stripy cliffs. It's a friendly presence - it almost feels sentient, weirdly enough. Across the way, though, is the brooding, gaping maw of Mt Tarawera, which crouches menacingly over its lakes like a slavering dog defending its kill. We can't see the big split (one day I want to do the helicopter ride over the top and see where the mountain tore itself apart), but we could see the huge, evil crater on the south side where the mountain literally ripped its side out. Lake Rotomahana was sparkling and cool in the sun, and Lake Tarawera wrapped around the feet of its mountain, but the mountain itself made me shiver.