We leave the mountainous landscapes to go as far as Whanganui by the coast. The information centre advises us of a campsite in Pipiriki which organizes different types of excursions on the Whanganui River, including canoeing.
25 February: Pipiriki
The Whanganui region attracts some tourists, between water activities on the river, cycling and walking. The road we take from Whanganui to the village of Pipiriki is not lacking in magnificent views of the valley,
nor cliffs made up of fossilized oyster shells.
Arrived at the campsite, we book the canoe trip. The next day the jetboat drops us off at 13 miles upstream of the river where the canoe awaits us. Other tourists continue up the river with the guide to the Bridge to Nowhere to spend the day there. This bridge leading nowhere was built around 1930. The government wanted to develop the region, build roads and sell land to farmers, most world War I veterans. Given the isolation the project was abandoned, deserted farms in addition to un prospering agriculture. A lot of money "wasted".
Quietly we go down the river and enjoy the scenery before ...
picnic and continue until the most tumultuous passage of the river, which the guides call 50/50. In other words, we 50% chance to fall into the water! We almost did...
Back at the campsite at the end of the day, it's time for cyclists taking part in the "Aotearoa Tour" to arrive. The challenge is to cross the NZ from north to south by the small roads and tracks (either 3000 Miles) In 30 Days. Participants of all ages have different motivations, some want at all costs to break records while others take their time without leaving at dawn. Each cyclist is equipped with a GPS beacon for safety and also to track their progress online. This "competition" is renewed 2 Years. I'm not sure we'll be part of it!
27 February: thermal waters
Our departure is under the clouds and we go back through Lake Taupo
to reach the waiotapu geothermal site, one of the tourist attractions
as well as hot water baths in the Waiotapu River a little further down the road.
The water temperature is a little hot you do not stay long!
28 February: Coromandel
We've finished our loop from east to west, We let's go north in the Coromandel region where large sandy beaches follow one another.
We arrive at the campsite of Port Jackson at the north tip after traveling 23 kms of dusty track. We find the ideal location on one side of the ocean as far as the eye can see,
and on the other the countryside with cows that remain unfazed by our approach.
The coast is very cut, the trail runs along the seafront to the next "Fletcher Bay" which heralds the end of the road.
Port Jackson Bay is a calm Olympian, no ski jets saw only a few boats at anchor coming fishing for the Weekend.