Doug Johanson is his real name and has made quite a name for himself all over the world, as a conservationist. He has even got a gold medal from the Queen (1990) for services to nature and New Zealand Tourism, of which he is justly very proud.
He told us so much about the ‘bush’ and the gold hunting that went on and much, much history of New Zealand.
The Black Fern is the biggest in the world. He showed us his bag of gold samples and various rocks at lunchtime, which were fantastic. When I asked him why he hadn’t sold them he replied, “So you sell them, you get money which you spend, then what have you got?” So they will be left to his kids and others will go into museums. They were that important.
We saw glow worms, one of the rarest frogs in the world in a dark, dank cave and he played tricks on us in another cave full of spiders by tickling the backs of our necks with a leaf on a stick. Doesn’t read that well in print but it was a hoot.
Back exhausted but knowledged up to our B & B. For dinner we go to a small cafe that had an open mic evening, with various folk singing to various standards with various guitars. Simon Cowell would have had a field day.
So tomorrow off to Roturua and a safe but scenic journey to the Regent hotel.
Thank you for reading. M & M