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10th December
written by Hazel

We’ve been busy since the last post!  Unfortunately we’ve both had colds, but they are pretty mild and haven’t slowed us down much.

Highlights include (in chronological order):

Hike from Hahei to Cathedral Cove.  This hike was in the rain, so we didn’t get any pictures, but the scenery was fabulous.

Exploring Karangahake Gorge.  This gorge was mined heavily and is full of ruins of mines and tunnels they’ve restored for people to explore.  It is also very beautiful.

The Gorge

Mining Tunnel Window

Exploring Tunnels

Orange Rocks!

We went on a hike that was along an old mining pipe and it reminded us of the old computer game Myst.

Follow the pipe

Bridge from the Mines

Camping at Matata DOC camp (I had the Lion King stuck in my head all night).

Exploring Lake Okataina and hiking up the Whakapoungakau Trig.  This was a pretty steep climb, but we got awesome views across the lakes.

Beautiful Lake View

View from the Top

Camping at Kakaho DOC Camp.  When we arrived here we thought we didn’t have the right change for a campsite so we asked some other campers if they could make change.  They let us know that a whole 4-wheeler club was coming in to the (at that time completely empty) campground and told us that 500 meters on there was another campsite.  We went to check it out and had it completely to ourselves, creek and all.


Jumping in the creek instead of a morning shower – this was COLD!

We drove into Taupo (a fairly large town) today to do laundry, get our pictures uploaded and so on.

We’re getting into the hang of living from the van.  It’s well equipped with kitchen tools and our little stove is great for making rice, baked beans, grilled cheese, tea, and the like.  We also have a little cold box that refrigerates our veggies and cheese and chocolate.  The bed is comfy and it’s quite cozy in there.

Driving on the left is not really a problem anymore, so we’re just cruising around taking in the sights.

Thanks to everyone who has left us comments.  We read them all and really appreciate keeping in touch with everyone at home!  I’ll add photos when they finish uploading.


  1. nigel

    Ah, the old computer game! I see what you mean.
    Please post a pic of a typical road – I’m imagining slow and windy.(That’s with curves not with breezes)
    Keep up the blog posts

  2. Hazel

    Ooh, a request. Absolutely! I’ll take some soon and get them up in a few days. They really vary a lot – some roads are gravel and are extremely slow. Others are nice highways and we can cruise along at a blistering 100 kilometres/hour.

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