7.30 start this morning. we after a lovely Breakfast we said good bye to Rotorua.
Travelling through the bay of plenty. We pass Rainbow Mountain . On top is a lookout that is manned 24 hours a day to watch for bush fires. This area was once completely forest but has been cleared over the years to make way for the more profitable farming.
Our first stop was at Wairakei Thermal Station (one of the many in NZ. Here they harvest the natural steam and turn it into electricity, these thermal stations make up 15% of NZ's energy grid.
Waikato River was a fast moving but had the most most crystal clear beautiful blue water and leads into Huka Falls.
These falls are quite impressive - not the highest of water falls, 11m, but one of the fastest and most powerful falls I have ever seen. Quite breathtaking.
We stopped at lake Taupo for morning tea and we bought quite a few gifts here. We passed a burial Island for the Maori tribes living in the lakes district and onto a national park which was established in the 1880's & was gifted to the people by the then Maori chief.
There are many active volcano's in this area, the most recent erupted only 3 months ago, but only volcanic ash.
Today was out first day of rain and I slept on & off for most of the mornings trip.
Our lunch order number was presented in this tiny gumboot. After lunch we travelled the Rangitiki River & Tallavu Ranges for most of our journey to Wellington.