This is really the first year where we don’t have any itinerary at all, we just look at the weather forecast and then decide on the next two days or so. Of course this has the potential to turn into a classical TSP scenario, so lucky us that we’re atheists and have the brains to deal with this. 🙂 I still can’t get over these damn German Christian fuckers, but I promise this will be the last rant … maybe.
Anyway, after three extremely relaxing days full of beach fun at the Mount we drove down to Rotorua. On my previous nine trips to NZ I have always avoided RotoVegas like the plague, because of the plaguelike hordes you’re likely to encounter. But we decided to give it a chance and what a good decision that was. First of all, the accommodation – we stayed at the Funky Green Voyager, a nice hostel close to the town center. Second, if you avoid all the „must see“ things then you avoid the hordes and still get to enjoy the scenery. Sounds too easy? Well, sometimes things are just that easy. We walked to Tarawera Falls and then on to the lake, beautiful and no one else on the track. The same goes for Rainbow Mountain in the early morning, with great views over all the lakes, the mountains of Tongariro National Park and the Japanese ants in Waiotapu. We then drove down to Waikite Valley Thermal Springs and enjoyed great natural hot pools, again no crowds, just a few local and an extremely hot French woman. I mean the whole package, the bikini, the content … if only the male population of France would die out somehow, life in Western Europe would become much more attractive. 😉
After RotoVegas, we originally wanted to make our way down to Taranaki, but the forecast changed and we decided to head back to the Bay of Plenty again, to my favorite spot Whakatane. Rain was forecast for Friday and early Saturday, so we booked one night at the Awakeri Hot Springs, 15k from Whakatane. They have a hot spring on the grounds and use is free for guests. What better rainy day option could there be? This morning it was raining heavily and I swam for 40 minutes, had the whole pool for myself, serene, beautiful, and I could get some exercise as well. It doesn’t get much better than that. Today we’re headed towards Ohope Beach again, currently wasting away some time until the rain finally cleares at Whakatane i-site, where Internet and computer use is still free. Thank you very much, Whakatane! We love you!
So I’m finally able to post some photos:
Aoraki / Mt Sefton at sunrise:
Aoraki / Hooker Valley Glacier with calves/icebergs:
Beach all the way, everywhere @ the Mount: