Bridge the Travel Gap

Exploring a bit of the North Island

Exploring a bit of the North Island

‘The world is my backyard.’

Tongariro

Tongariro hike

This week we went off on adventures outside Auckland, as John’s brother lent us his Ute (4-wheel drive truck.)

Ute

Neil’s Ute we borrowed

Our first stop was National Park and hiking Tongariro – an active volcano. It’s a 19km (11.8 miles) hike with some difficult bits, but beautiful. Well worth the effort to see. (Some extra photos of the walk are at the bottom of the blog!)

After that, we deserved sometime in the thermal pools in Tokaamu – a very nice soak in our own private pool,

Tokaamu

Tokaamu hot pools

then, a lovely drive through the countryside to see Huka Falls

Haka Falls

Huka Falls

before arriving in Rotorua

Roturua

Roturua Museum

for 2 nights camping by Blue Lake. Rotorua is known for its hot sulfur baths and Maori culture evenings. The later I’d done on a previous trip and the former found us trying out the Art Deco ‘Blue Baths’, where we had the pools to ourselves.

Blue Baths

Blue Baths – Rotorua

We did some shorter hikes in this area around Blue Lake,

Blue Lake

Blue Lake

the Government Gardens

Government park

Government Park

and, the #1 attraction there, the Redwoods. They planted this forest in the mid-1800’s as an experiment, but found the trees grow too slowly, so these are the only ones you’ll find here.

Redwoods

Redwood Park – Rotorua

Then, our week ended, at a friend’s in Tauranga where we celebrated Julia’s 21st/30th/? Birthday and saw a stingray by the restaurant,

Stingray

Stingray

we swam in their beautiful pool,

Julia and Al's pool

John and Al swimming in the pool

loved their cats – Cocoa and Leila

Burmese Beauties

Burmese Beauties

and walked the Mount.

The Mount

Walking the Mount

Then, it was a drive back to Auckland with a quick stop at Karangahake Gorge

Karangahake Gorge

Karangahake Gorge

and Miranda hot pools.

Miranda Hot Pools

Miranda Hot Pools

Debx

More photos of our Tongariro crossing hike:

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0 thoughts on “Exploring a bit of the North Island

  1. carolpenno@telus.net

    I love all your pictures Debbie,  Thank you for sharing.  I bet your parents are missing your company.  What a wonderful round the world tour you are having. It’s really a trip of a lifetime.  We are enjoying a very mild winter in Golden.  It may be an el Nino year.  Carol Penno

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