Towards Lake Taupo again, high winds over the hills, some blustery parts, hanging onto the steering wheel in parts, stop in the town centre of Taupo to visit the Local Heritage Museum and go for a wander around Taupo itself. Come across the artist shop of artist Graham Möeller, have a good chat about NZ and our shared interests in painting.
Drive north to Haka Falls, the most visited tourist attraction in NZ, their all here, find peace away from the crowds to view the falls.
Camp at our beach stop on Two Mile just outside Taupo again. View clear down to the southern lakeside and the volcanos. Watch the sun go down over the lake, but endure a very blustery night. Sun. 05.Jan
Leave Lake Taupo reluctantly behind, for a long drive over the rolling countryside, north towards Waitomo Caves. Looking for a petrol station, a bit of an outback feeling, cutting through central NZ, a strangely cut off area.The caves is connected to a modern visitor centre, expensive and well visited.
Taken by a guide into the caves, dark underfoot, the group maybe too large for the passageway.
Cathedral Hall, open natural caves with high ceiling, leads to caves, access via a rowing boat, split into smaller groups. Dark, but quiet, glowworms hanging from the ceiling, we exit via stream opening in the rocks and walk back to the centre. Slightly disappointed, glad we didn´t take the longer tour through all the caves. Stop in Waitomo for something to eat.
Head for the Bay of Plenty, via Cambridge turn off for Omokoroa Beach north of Tauranga. Mon. 06.Jan