11 February 2020: Tao exit
The Norsand construction site in Whangarei where Tao will stay until next summer is only an hour's drive from Paihia which makes it easier to come and tinker when we like! The list is ready "there's more to it" ...
Back in Paihia we prepare the van, let's do some basic errands and cook a "roasted pork" with sweet potatoes that evening. ( Kumara) and crispy pumpkin with a small glass of wine to pass the whole thing! This is one of the popular dishes in NZ as well as the "roasted lamb", l "Fish and chips", green mussels, meat pie or Pavlova, meringue dessert with typical New Zealand fruit whipped cream (and Australian)!
20 February 2020: departure for a tour of the North Island
Auckland is a must-see to the south of the island. We cross quickly to get directly to the center of the island.
We arrive at the campsite of the village of Whakapapa in Mt Tongariro National Park. Fortunately we had booked our place as the campsite displays full. Nathalie synchronized our arrival with the forecast of a few days of good weather.
This is the second time we've come around and we're determined , given the good weather forecast , to walk to the Tama lakes at 1400m altitude.
The next day "fresh as roaches" we begin our expedition of 18kms amidst vegetation yellowed by the sun.
In the middle of the morning we arrive at the first lake with Mt Ruapehu (2700m) which is on the horizon. It is one of the most monitored volcanoes in NZ. The last eruption occurred in 2007. The area being very touristy hotels or campsites in the village of Whakapapa are required to inform guests of evacuation plans in case of eruption or mudslide.
The ascent has only just begun and the walking stick is very useful
in the steepest part (scree of piers a little "cracked mouth") which goes all the way to the second lake.
Once up there
we look at the landscape and
let's immortalize the moment with some photos!
We have lunch quickly because we have a little way to go
to get to Taranaki Falls where it's good to cool your feet!
Tomorrow it will be a little quieter and with the weather that spoils we will take the road to the west ...