From Hawke’s Bay back to Rotorua

Our decision to remove Wellington from our itinerary has bought us time to visit a few places we would otherwise not have had time for. Both Tangoio Falls and Lake Tutira would otherwise have been left behind.

Tangoio Falls and Lake Tutira

So we used the time we gained to visit Tangoio Falls as well as Lake Tutira. As an extra there were also the Te Ana Falls, which were near the Tangoio Falls.

Te Ana Falls
Tangoio Falls

After the hike we drove on to Lake Tutira. We had past the area already the day before and we immediately liked the great scenery. Good reason to come back again, especially now that we had a bit more time on our hands. For an overnight stay on the camping site directly at the lake they ask for a $5 donation. And the best thing? The camping site is also the starting point for various hikes.

Wooden art

“Wildlife” or “Curious Neighbours”

And so the next morning we tackled the Table Mountain Track. At the beginning there was some fog over the lake and the mountains. Finding the track markings here was not that easy. But with increasing altitude the visibility got better and better. It went past sheep and cows who shared their meadows with us 🙂

And also some curious and above all cheeky birds accompanied us on our way.

On the summit we had a great panorama over the lake, the mountains up to the Pacific Ocean.

Whakamahia Beach

This beach is just a dream! The dark pebbles contrast with the faded, almost white flotsam, which consists of small branches to large tree trunks. Here the tides still determine what the beach looks like and not humans.

Nevertheless there is a free camping site here. Directly behind the beach. And it even has free Wifi. We share the beach and the localities that night with only one other motorhome.

Lucy at Whakamahia Beach

Only a few locals pass by here to “walk” with their dogs. That means, they drive with their car along the kilometre long road behind the beach, while the dogs have to run next to the car 🙂

Via the Te Urewera Rainforest Route back to Rotorua

Before we move mainly along the coasts in the remaining weeks of our New Zealand trip, we kind of went back to the junge. The Te Urewera Rainforest Route leads mostly on a gravel road through one of the last original forests in New Zealand

We had chosen Lake Waikaremoana Motorcamp as our destination for the day.

Lucy at Lake Waikaremoana Motorcamp

Directly from the campsite you can start some shorter and some longer hikes. This time we chose to do the two shorter hikes. You also need some time for doing the laundry – with small luggage and after ten days without “housework” this was urgently necessary 😉

Nevertheless we took the time to visit the Northern Rata Tree. This “rascal” began his life presumably in the branch fork of another big tree. His root grew towards the ground (estimated 10 meters). The other tree is long gone, while the Northern Rata Tree still stands on its 10 meter high roots and continues to grow. It is 13 metres around the base and the tree is now between 800 to 1000 years old.

The next day we moved on. On the curvy gravel road we couldn’t go faster than 25 km/h most of the time. And so the road dragged on for almost 4 hours until we reached Rotorua. Here we finished our journey along the east coast and the surrounding area after one week; with tasty wine and a pizza 😋.

Campground, Hike, Lucy, Rocky, Skippy
East Coast of New Zealand’s North Island
Hamurana Springs & McLaren Falls Park

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