Day 12 and the day between 12 and 14

Monday morning we were packed and ready to leave the Bay of Plenty. We had been spoilt but we needed to track south. Cyclone Lola had wreaked havoc up in Northland, Auckland and the Coramandel so we were really lucky that we visited those last week.
On the way to Taupō we called at our friends brothers farm and he was kind enough to give us a tour of his fields and also explain a lot about the agriculture in New Zealand with specific emphasis on Dairy. He has one of the best farms in New Zealand and consistently produces top quality product. We went back to the farm house and enjoyed more really interesting conversation as well as a much needed cuppa. The views from their living area are fantastic! The video shows how happy the newbies are to still get fed some milk.

We carried on to Taupō but the weather had turned against us, so we made our way to the local store and bought groceries for the night. We are staying in the Phoenix resort, each studio has a kitchen, living room, bathroom, upstairs bedroom but the real delight is our own geothermal tub under cover at the back. You fill it direct from the thermal waters – although you need to add a lot of cold first as the water comes out at 72C or 161 F. It was sooo relaxing. We both slept well.

Today we were up and out by 7. Only to have the weather forecast lie to us again. It rained all the way to Orakei Korako geothermal park and cave. Just as we pulled up the rain stopped. We spent a fabulous hour walking around there and lo and behold, just as we got back in the car to drive back the rain started again.

In the afternoon we walked to Hakka falls and the water was running at full tilt so it was really impressive. As we started to walk back to the car, about 45 minutes away, our luck ran out and the rain poured down. We were like two little drowned rats! But we knew we could run our tub and all would be well with the world again

Tomorrow we go to Turangi for 2 days and we are keeping our fingers crossed for good weather on Thursday as it will be our only chance to do the Alpine crossing on Mount Tongariro.