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Friday, April 24, 2015

Taupo to Himatangi

Our trip from Ngongotaha to Taupo was just under 100kms.  We arrived at the NZMCA site at Taupo Airport after looking around the Lava Glass complex and lunching at the cafe there.  There has been work done here at Taupo, more trees have been cut down, we noticed, and parts of the grassy area has been blocked off from use and reseeded.   Once we had parked up as we wanted,  it was time to head back to town to replenish the larder, and refill one of the gas bottles. 

P4230038 NZMCA site at Taupo Airport

P4220034 Lake Taupo was looking a little moody as the clouds rolled in.

It was getting darker and darker as we drove back to camp with our supplies, past steam vents in the hillside.  5kms from camp the rain came down with a vengeance, and we were concerned because we had left the roof vents wide open.  Sure enough, rain had come through, all over items left out on the table, and the quilt on the bed got quite a wetting too.   Who would have thought that the weather would change from a nice sunny day to a heavy downpour in such a short time.

P4220036 Steam coming from the hillside at Taupo

Staying just one night at Taupo, we packed up in the morning and headed off to the dump station, one recently re-opened in Tokaanu.  Dump stations are not usually found in very attractive settings,  after all, that’s where vanners go to get rid of all the “nasties”.  But this particular one overlooked the bottom of Lake Taupo, water fowl were serenely padding around, the area was nicely planted, and it was close by a freedom camping area. 

P4230044 Tokaanu end of Lake Taupo

With that business taken care of, our next stop was the National Army Museum at Waiouru.  With Anzac Day fast approaching, there was a lot going on preparing for the big day.  We had to wait at the back of the building to get into the caravan parking area while an Army truck was unloaded.  One of the Assistant Curators came to see what the hold up was in the car park.  “Won’t be long now till they have finished”, he told us.  “But if you need any more help – you are on your own.  I’m off to lunch!”  Luckily the unloading didn’t take too much longer and our car and caravan were soon neatly stowed in a car park.  Army tents had been erected on the grassy areas, all sorts of deliveries were being made inside the building, even the cafe was receiving brand new tables and chairs.  Everything had to be spic and span for Anzac Day on Saturday.

P4230051 Hold up in the museum car park

P4230067 Cloud topped Mt Ruapehu from the museum car park

Lunch over, it was time to move on, down SH1 to Himitangi.  Autumn had definitely arrived, and we passed trees coloured in gorgeous shades of red, orange and gold.  This pretty grove of gold toned beauties was close to Hunterville.

P4230069 Autumn coloured trees beside the road

It was caravan club rally time at Himitangi Beach Motor Camp this weekend.  That’s surely a nice way to complete our four week caravan trip.  Five vans made it an extra long weekend and arrived on Thursday, including us three.

P4240005 Three in a row at Himitangi

Other club members arrived on Saturday.  It’s going to be a busy old weekend here at Himitangi Beach Camp for the camp managers, with three caravan clubs in attendance.

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