|Spent the Weekend in New Plymouth at the NZ WOMAD festival and had the best time! New Plymouth is really laid back and had a holiday feel about it, despite being a busy working town and the festival was so relaxed but with plenty of dancing and great music.Highlights of the weekend were Sinkane from NY, The Soil from South Africa and The East Pointers from Canada.I also enjoyed Marlon Williams and Swamp thing from NZ too.
New Plymouth is about 4 and a half hours away from Tauranga on the West Coast of the North Island and sits in the shadow of Mount Egmont which is quite spectacular. It's apparently climbable and ski-able but is very steep so I won't be doing that anytime soon. The drive over is beautiful and we passed through some lovely towns including Poi Poi, where we stopped at The Fat Pigeon Cafe for some lunch and Te Kuiti, the sheep shearing capital of the world! The drive also takes you through the Awakino Gorge and some cool tunnels through the cliff face and past the 3 sisters and what used to be elephant rock, some of which has now slipped into the sea. At low tide you can walk round the the three (now 2) sisters but the tide was in when we passed through so I saw the from afar.
The beaches at this part of the west coast have black sand, which gets very hot underfoot in the heat of the day but luckily the Tasman sea is there to cool your feet. It is an area that get's some of the big sharks though so I stuck to just paddling at the water's edge!