After four days of glorious Taupo weather it was time to pack up and start heading homewards. But first there were the necessary things to do such as fill up the water tanks, dump the waste water, and top up the 4WD with diesel. Then we travelled south along the Desert Road, which ascends onto the North Island Volcanic Plateau, into the Rangipo Desert, passing the volcanoes of Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe and Tongariro. The summit is 1,074 metres (3,524 ft) above sea level - the highest point on the New Zealand State Highway network. No wonder we could barely see in front of us at times.
After a lunch stop at the Waiouru Army Museum cafe, the weather cleared and we made our way to our stop for the night, the Rangatira Golf Club at Ohingaiti. We had stayed there previously, and the golf club offers power, water, showers and toilets at a reasonable cost. The golf club is unique as the course is built on three levels, and has an Electric Cable Car, the only one of its kind in New Zealand. Sadly, the cable car has been out of action for sometime due to safety concerns, and is awaiting parts from overseas to rectify the problem. All we could see were the rails running downhill.
Cable car when it was running
After our evening meal Robin and Geoff sat out on the back deck of the club house enjoying a cold beer and the wonderful views. And no doubt considering where we would travel on to tomorrow.