I still had 5 days off of work after the race, so let's make the most of it, right?
After leaving Taupo Sunday morning, we head north to Rotorua and check out some thermal activity (that didn't charge admission) like mudpots, boiling lakes, and lots of fragrant sulphur.
Boiling Lake in Rotorua
Steam wafting up through a walkway over the boiling lake
We then wander further north to Whakatane and to Opotiki. Goal for the night was Gisborne, the long way around the peninsula, but it's quickly obvious that the line on the map conceals how slowly we'll be covering kilometers.
Surf crashing into the coast on the way to Hicks Bay somewhere near Otamaroa
We cut our losses and stop in Hicks Bay, far short of Gisborne. The proprietor of this motel has a tiny little Beta helicopter that he uses for grocery shopping, hunting, and sightseeing parked on his lawn and also happens to be a world-class marathoner. Close to 60 now, he has placed as high as 4th in Boston, has run for New Zealand several times in the Olympics (as recently as 1988), and has 2:11 as his fastest marathon. He understands, then, the extent of my hunger and feeds me well.
Waves slowly rolling into Hicks Bay
Freshened by a night of sleep, we keep heading east along the peninsula and come across some seals who are sleeping on the rocks right along the road.
About a dozen baby seals playing in a tide pool
Further along, shortly before Gisborne, we take a stop at one of the most idyllic beaches I've ever set foot on.
...and I never...
...want to leave
We make it to Wellington that night for another stay with Diane and Aled and some tasty homemade soup and bread (thanks again guys!).
After crossing the Cook Strait on the ferry the next morning, we head south to Kaikoura and stay there for the afternoon and night.
Quick panorama looking out from the Kaikoura Peninsula
Some seeds on an oceanside cliff
Approaching rainstorm, aquamarine water, and fresh snow in the mountains
Kaikoura Peninsula...yes, this place is real...
Then it's another day of driving back to Queenstown through Christchurch, Tekapo, and along the Kawarau. 3200km for the whole trip including the drive from Queenstown to Taupo...lots of ground covered and many beautiful places seen!
I'm back to work in about an hour; life in the "real world" has gotta continue sometime!
- ► 2016 (10)
- ► 2015 (52)
- ► 2014 (46)
- ► 2013 (103)
- ► 2012 (64)
- ► 2011 (54)
- ► 2010 (47)
- ► 2009 (49)
- ▼ March (5)