This is not only "something" of Mt. Taranaki :)))
Only at sunrise we notice where we have placed ourselves. What a reward for that stressful ride yesterday!
We are completely taken by the view and the luck to see the volcano without clouds - according to several tourist guides this is not understood.
One hour later we have made so many photographs we could probably fill a 365-days-calendar... [So below you see only a very small selection ;) ]
After breakfast we split up a little sadly from sea and volcano and drive on, into heartland, across Taupo Volcanic Region towards Lake Taupo.
Somewhere me miss the right junction to Taupo. Instead we get a great view on Mokau River's mouth, a yummy snack at Whitebait Inn AND a short climbing tour down to the river and upstairs again.
You really have to move yourself after these meals ;) Our next junction is about 40 km away and unless we don't want to make even more loop ways we have to take it now [well, sometimes you
might mix "Ahititi" and "Aria"...]. This route, clearly smaller than the highway but still double-tracked, leads us through the volcanic area until, after several curves and altitudes, we reach
the highway again. At Taumarunui Jed needs some air for his tyres - unfortunately the "air pump" at our first gas station does not work at all. Some 100 metres away there is another smaller one
and they have working equipment, phew.
The "Forgotten World Highway" is said to be nearby, a very worth seeing "mysterious" road built at colonial eras. It is only 150 km long but today we have no more time for this, we have to postpone it until next time ;)
We drive some more kilometres across mountains, through valleys, around hilltops and reach the chosen campsite. It is not after our fancy. First of all there are already three campervans, second
the site is bituminised and third it is nothing more than a parkingsite at the edge of a landing stage. Nope. Surely we will find something more suitable? You bet! Only three kilometres away we
find a picnic-area which may be used by 'fully contained vehicles' at this time of the year. Perfect! Apart from us there is a campervan in distant prospect, we have an eucalyptus above us and
the lake at our side. It is that warm we even go into the water. It is hardly refreshing [you may walk into the crater lake for a couple of metres and are not deeper than your knees] but as we
notice there are sandflies. And that many. So we have to take out the sunscreen AND repellent, then we take the camp chairs, our sunhats, get a gingerbeer and enjoy the silence. Awesome! As soon
as the sun goes down the flies get unbearable and we retreat into the van. Meanwhile three other [local] campervans have arrived and spread spaciously all over the big site.
27.03.15/ mt. taranaki - lake taupo
26.03.15/ Upper Hutt - Cape Egmont
28.03.15/ Lake Taupo - Maketu