A snap decision was made while we were still at Woodville. Why not take the long way home, and go and spend a few days at Taupo instead of returning straight home? There was nothing urgent that required our presence during the week, so we decided to make the most of a few extra days away in the caravan. So off we went, up SH2, through driving through Waipukurau, Hastings and Napier, before tackling the once feared Napier-Taupo Road. Robin can remember many years ago when this was a tortuous gravel road.
The road meanders though the pretty Esk Valley, full of vineyards, olive groves, and fruit trees. With this part behind us, the road continually climbs a steep hill, drops down the other side, repeating this time and again. At a length of 247km, the terrain changes from farm land, to pine plantations, and high country tussock. There is nothing boring about this road, but you would have to take special care driving over it during winter.
Starting off in sunshine, the rain came down as we got closer to our destination.
Not far to go now, here comes the first glimpse of Lake Taupo. We are staying at the NZMCA property just by Taupo Airport, nice and handy to the town.