The three day caravan rally was over and we said goodbye to our caravan friends and all went our separate ways. So it was goodbye to Feilding – we were not ready to go home just yet, but heading north to Taupo.
Goodbye to Feilding
Driving through rural Halcombe, we soon joined SH1 and headed north through Hunterville and Taihape, with the plan to stop for lunch at Waiouru. Streams of traffic were heading south after the long weekend, including a whole raft of motorbikes. There must have been a bikie get-together somewhere over the weekend. Oh look, there is our first glimpse of Mt Ruapehu as we near our lunch stop.
Almost at Waiouru
The National Army Museum at Waiouru is an excellent place to stop for R&R (café and toilets available) or even overnight as there is plenty of room at the rear of the large car park allocated to caravans and campers. Of course, it is well worth checking out the museum too, if you are passing by.
Inside the museum foyer
I went into the café to pick up a little something for our lunch, and it was good to sit and relax for a while. And just look at that view from the car park.
Lunch time at Waiouru
Lunch over, we continued our drive up and over the Desert Road. The area is covered in tussock as far as the eye can see, and the area is used by the NZ Army for training maneuvers. What’s this? The road ahead was obscured with thick dust blowing everywhere. Perhaps there was a training exercise with a whole lot of army tanks playing military games? Or maybe the wild Kaimanawa horses were galloping by? Who knows – we drove through the dust cloud without seeing anything suspicious, perhaps it was just the wind kicking up the dust.
Dust blowing across the Desert Road
Once through Turangi we travelled around the lake edge, marveling at the amount of bikini clad youngsters frolicking in the cold lake water, or taking their lives in the hands as they tried to cross the busy road to get back to their cars. Perhaps that water was warmer than it was reputed to be.
Finally, after a drive of 235km, we pulled into the NZMCA site at Taupo Airport. As often happens, we met up with people we knew and spent a hour or so sitting under our shady awning catching up with Bob and Jean from the Wainuiomata Caravan Club. The parachutists hurtling down from the sky kept us all entertained, as we chatted about this and that, people we knew, and places we had been.
Sky Diving action from above
There was a glorious sunset to complete the day. I left Robin to deal with the dishes as I set out to try and capture some of those beautiful evening colours.
Sunset and Taupo