We kick off the week by going to see Paddington at a really oldy-worldy cinema with original 70s decor. Tildy is pretty scared (some scenes are actually pretty frightening when they're trying to shoot the poor creature), but all the British sense of humour makes it a very funny film. I enjoyed it, anyway.
Next up, trip to touristy but fun Hot Water Beach. A real communal experience with people of all nationalities - all digging holes and then bathing together in geothermal water out of a hot spring. You just have to be careful you don't walk over sand where the hot spring actually flows, otherwise you get a scolding hot experience. The whole thing's a sort of cross between kids' beach party (though most of us seem to be adults) and sauna.
Sunday service with local Baptists. Church is fun in NZ because whatever type you go to, at the start of the service they always go round with a basket of chocolates and whoever's traveled the furthest gets first pick. Good for Europeans .. For me though church is a highlight here thanks to the modern praise music and the laid-back, informal way so many Zealanders seem to worship.
The best though - as always in NZ - is the beaches. The loveliest to date has been Pokohino Beach. Because the beach is quite difficult to reach - we had to drive 7 km off road along a bone-rattler dust track, then trek half an hour downhill through thick bush - we were virtually only ones there. Sea is opaque green and glorious to swim in, the sand fine and silky - just like in the Bounty adverts.