Touring New Zealand was a very exciting time, though it did involve huge amounts of driving! I have split my diary of our six day tour into 3 segments, this being number 3. I hope you enjoy reading my posts, thank-you!
Today was quite a mixed ‘touring the area’ sort of a day, which we began by a walk on the beach, collecting pretty shells, like spiral-shells, a fragment of paua, and some beautiful and weirdly coloured mussels. Then we went to one of the many Hawkes Bay vineyards, so my mum and dad could fill their up their travel wine bottle allowance with cheaper NZ wine (not fully); but also to have lunch. We then made our way up to Te Mata Peak (thought it was tomato-a!), which was a reasonably steep drive up and around the mountain, which we spent watching exhausted hikers scramble up, as well as watching the views – then looking down ever so slightly to see the almost unprotected 10-15m cliffs and 60 degree slopes going down hundreds of metres! From the top we peered over cliffs and steep banks, and watched a low flying Cessna aeroplane – except it wasn’t low flying, it was over the valley and we were just so high up! After attempting to find two geocaches, and only getting the second, we began our decent to the Strawberry Patch, a berry farm not too dissimilar to Cragies in Edinburgh – but the Strawberry Patch did something Cragies doesn’t – fresh ice cream made from your choice of berries which are blended into the ice cream right in front of you. Today had been an exciting day, but I am glad to be in bed now!
Day 7 -Part 1
We had to be fast this morning, 9am departure rather than the 10am we normally would have, we had a long drive in front of us, but then we had no clue quite how long! Here is the story of our weary way to Rotorua (beware: slightly over dramatised! P.S To be fair – it wasn’t quite as bad as I’ve described!):
- We say goodbye, it’s sad we were leaving again – it doesn’t get any easier, does it?
- Breaking News! Crash on State Highway 5, the only route from where we are to Rotorua avoiding hours of detour
- Took the many hours long detour…
- Realise we have 90km to do on gravel roadways 🙁
- After some really pretty landscapes, we remember that ‘every cloud has a silver lining’
- Gravel road. 30km before the map says it starts. 😐
- Tarmac road: )
- Gravel road 🙁
- Tarmac road 🙂
- Gravel road 🙁
- Gravel road starts on the map.
- Twisty, turny! Twisty, turny! Up and down(y?)! Up and down(y?)!
- Reach random massive lake 570m above sea level – for some reason it isn’t surprising that my dad has done the 5-day circumnavigation of it – twice…
- Visitor centre by said lake – frozen pies that need to be microwaved in store for 12mins for all 4
- Microwave for 5mins – I finally got to taste what frozen, cooked egg tastes like (because that’s what I always wanted?!?)
- Patches of tarmac road 🙂
- Three vehicles ahead: dust, Dust!, DUST!!!!!!!!
- End of gravel!!! PARTY TIME!!! 🙂
- 5mins later: Hisssssss Poof! Out comes the replacement tyre – we’re so late it doesn’t actually affect us much at all!
- End of mountains!!! Straight, flat roads and…. – we’re limited to 80kmph, (grrr) Still, it’s flat though!
- ROTORUA!!!!!!! At long, LONG last!!!
Day 7 -Part 2
After a very dramatic and eventful journey to Rotorua, we decided to go in to relax in the Polynesian Spa, but sadly there wasn’t a private Spa available (at least not for half an hour) so we had a great time swimming in the public pools. After some pizza for dinner (and spotting a Pukeko!) we made our final journey back to Auckland, stopping only at McDonalds for supper. Megan slept most of the trip – at first, I was sure I hadn’t slept, but after realising we were more than 20 miles from where I closed my eyes I realised I actually had slept in the car- first time in many years! After our arrival at the Motel I finally fell straight asleep, after a long, long day!