Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bowentown to Ngongotaha

Lynne was left holding the baby, but no, she can’t take the little one home with her, she was told.  The four of us parted company at the camp, with Noel and Lynne heading north to visit family and friends, and we were travelling down to Rotorua.

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Where did that baby come from, Lynne?

We retraced our steps through the Karangahake Gorge, passing by the historic Victoria Battery.  And by several interesting old railway bridges which are now part of the Rail Trail bike-way.

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Karangahake Gorge

South of Te Aroha by Gordon we stopped at the Memorial of the 1963 crash of a National Airways Corporation DC3, with the loss of all 23 people on board.  The flight departed from Auckland, bound for Wellington via Tauranga, Gisborne and Napier. The weather was stormy, but forecasts underestimated the force of the wind. During its descent into Tauranga, the plane was caught in a turbulent downdraught, slamming into a ridge on the Kaimai Range. Insufficient altitude and navigational problems contributed to the crash, but the ferocious winds were the deciding factor. It took rescuers two days to locate and reach the crash site.

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Memorial to Kaimai Ranges crash

Fitzgerald Glade is always a favourite place and we decided to stop here and have lunch in the Road House Café.

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Lunch at Fitzgerald  Glade Road House

I’m sure we have seen this pig on a previous visit -  there he was snoozing in the sunshine surrounded by the mysterious Fitzgerald Glade Stone Circle.

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Then it was a 30km trip to our destination for the next couple of nights, Ngongotaha NZMCA site just north of Rotorua.  This is a large park with plenty of room, with water available, rubbish bins, a dump site plus a meeting room.

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Parked up at Ngongotaha NZMCA site

And just in time for 4zees, Bill and Val arrived.  We weren’t really expecting them till tomorrow, but they got away early.

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