Walking in a Thermal Wonderland…

We’ve just arrived at the Kauri Coast Top 10, about 30km north of Dargaville in Northland. This, and the nearby DoC campsite in Trounson Kauri Park, will be our home for our last three nights in New Zealand.

After getting the water pump looked at yesterday morning we drove north, across the volcanic plains that make up the centre of North Island, around Lake Taupo and eventually arrived at a campsite beside Lake Rerewhakaaitu.

This morning we went to the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, which is a collection of geothermal vents north of Taupo. There’s an amazing collection of hot springs, sulphur-encrusted craters and boiling mud pools all within a very small area, linked by boardwalks. Really fascinating stuff, although I still can’t quite get the smell of sulphur out of my nose!

After that we had a very long drive north, through Hamilton (and a very long sequence of industrial estates selling absolutely everything in the world you could ever imagine buying), past a rain-shrouded Auckland and finally into the lush forests and farmland of Northland, where the sun finally broke through to create the most vivid rainbow either of us has ever seen.

Tomorrow we’re off to explore Waipoua Forest, the largest remaining Kauri Forest in New Zealand, and hopefully see some more kiwi on a guided night walk.

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