Thursday, 30 January 2020
We started the day bay packing up our little house in Taupo. It's been a nice place to stay and quite the opposite style of the house we are in tonight (more on that later).
Once we left our first port of call was McDonalds as it had an actual retired plane attached to it which looked pretty cool.
Actually the kids went and checked it out while Jon and I went to get him some coffee.
Then we went to a souvineer shop where I failed to prevent Jett and Jon buying some NZ themed 'comfort' socks..
Next stop was the Craters of the Moon geo thermal park - which was a bit like what we saw yesterday only a bit less spectacular and a fraction of the cost.
Then we went to a spa pool place - De Brett's Thermal Spa. It was ok, but only 1/2 as good as the one we went to in Hamner Springs a few years ago. It was a nice way to soak our still sore muscles while the kids did waterslides as well.
Next stop was the supermarket for lunch supplies followed by Aratika Rapids. The attraction of Aratika Rapids is that the dam above it releases water every two-ish hours so you get to watch a fairly benign steam become a raging torrent in a matter of minutes. I took the before photo on the left but the after photo on the right is from the website because my phone went flat at the critical moment!
After that we ate our picnic lunch in the carpark then jumped into the van for the 2 hour drive over to Hawkes Bay. This was uneventful but nice easy driving (particularly compared to some other roads we've been on so far) - and it was interesting to see the sheep filled hillsides give way to vineyards and orchards as we got closer to the east coast.
We're now at our AirBNB here in Havelock North - just south of Napier. Zali and I found it really hard to find anywhere to stay this weekend as there is a Michael Buble concert on - so we were lucky to get this place even though it's not really our style - it's filled to the brim with arty nic nacs so that we're all in fear of breaking something or spilling something or even just mistaking something decorative for something useful and accidentally using it. Nevertheless it's a lovely place and it's got an excellent deck that I'm sure we'll get to use over the next few days.
Before dinner we walked down the the registration to pay our entry fees and check out the local village. It's very quaint and we'll be racing through it on Sunday.