February 5th 2018
We left the site and headed back into Taupo to do the Huka falls walk. This walk runs from Spa Park up to the falls following the river Waikato. We started off making it more complicated than it needed to be as we walked through dense woodland following quite a tricky path when we later found we could have walked further into the park and joined the easier trail further on at the point of the natural spa.
There were quite a few people in the river, as this particular area has hot springs which make the water warm. There is also a hot waterfall dropping into another small pool and the steam was rising from the water as various people stood underneath it.
We continued on up towards the falls. The path followed the course of the river but was above it so, looking down the views were quite special.
When we arrived at the top, we admired the rushing water as the river forces its way through a narrow gap in the cliffs. It was well worth the trek there and back.
After lunch in the motorhome, we continued our journey towards Hastings which is close to Napier in Hawkes Bay. The temperature rose as we got closer and was 30 degrees when we arrived.
While here we are hoping to do a wine tour as this is the winery area but we need one that will pick us up and bring us back afterwards! This area is also known as the fruit bowl of New Zealand as so many fruits are grown here. We saw adverts for apples, plums, pears, raspberries and peaches. There are lots of wineries and orchards which are laden with apples.
Dinner outside while we try to plan our stay.
February 6th 2018
We decided to move on to a site closer to Napier so that we could do a wine tour and be picked up and dropped off back at the site. We moved to a Kiwi site which is close to the beach just outside Napier and it seems to be just as good as the Top 10 sites we have used.
We were picked up by Ross from ‘Vines and Views’ at 12.30 and after collecting the other members of the tour group, we headed to our first winery which was called the Mission. We tasted seven wines, starting with a sparkling white, followed by two more whites, three reds and a to finish. We then headed of to the next one, called Church Road winery for a similar experience, then to the Esk Dale winery and finally to the Linden Winery where we had cheese and biscuits before tasting their wines. By the end I felt ‘wined out’ and had taken to throwing most of it away.
We were dropped off at our site and parted company with the group.
February 7th 2018
This morning we drove into Napier to have a look around the ‘art deco’ town. We parked along the Marine Parade and walked along the front for a little while before crossing the road towards the town centre. We wandered around the shops and then stopped off in a cafe for drinks and a snack. We walked back along the sea front and stopped again, this time at the ice cream shop that Ross (wine guide from yesterday) had recommended. One passion fruit and chocolate cone for John and a ginger nut cone for me we’re duly bought and enjoyed.
After the ice cream we headed south towards Foxton beach, our stopover on the way to Wellington. It was a longer journey than expected as the sat nav took us the scenic route on roads that crossed the mountains. The views were amazing and we stopped a couple of timeshare for photos and cups of tea.
When we arrived, the site manager told us about a lovely walk following the river estuary and then along the beach and back round into the holiday park. We were a bit late setting off but I’m so glad that we went as the beach was quite stunning and made more beautiful by the setting sun. Not only was it very wide, but it was littered with logs, branches and tree stumps that I presume have washed up on the shore and many I assume have been there some time as they are bleached white. So many wonderful shapes, my Mum would have loved it as she has a thing about old logs and pieces of wood. I am so glad we stopped at this lovely site.
February 8th 2018
We continued our journey to Wellington, arriving at lunch time. We decided to have a quiet afternoon on site and to have a whole day in Wellington tomorrow. There is a bus that runs close to the site so we plan to catch that rather than drive in with the motorhome. So I caught up on washing and studied the books and information on South Island as we will be crossing the Cook Straits from North Island to South Island on Saturday morning for the next phase of our adventure.
February 9th 2018
A no driving day today as we caught a bus into Wellington city. We visited a couple of art galleries and then walked along the lovely harbour front where there are restaurants, cafes and a few shops. As lunchtime approached we chose the restaurant called ‘ One Red Dog’ and shared a delicious pizza called ‘Zorba the Greek’, it had pesto, peppers , tomato, feta cheese and olives.
After lunch we strolled around the shops and bought a couple of souvenirs and then went up to Victoria Mount on the Wellington cable car. Once at the top, we admired the views of Wellington and then walked around a small section of the botanic gardens before descending again on the cable car. Soon after, we went in search of the bus stop to head back to the site. No need for cooking tonight, just a sandwich and get ready for an early start tomorrow and our crossing to South Island. We have really enjoyed the North Island and are looking forward to the next phase of our trip.
Below, links to some thoughts written by John during the trip.