The day didn’t start out well at all to be heading off on a trip. We had to dodge the showers as we finished packing the caravan, putting in the last minute things. Finally, raining or not, it was time to get on our way.
A wet start to the day
We are off to Hamilton for the annual service on our Leisureline caravan. To keep the warranty up to date, we are required to take the van up to the Leisureline factory in Hamilton. That’s not too much of a chore, as we take our time travelling and make a holiday out of it. The rain played hide and seek as we travelled along SH1, and we noticed that the town of Sanson, home to Viv’s Kitchen and those famous cream horns, had already put Christmas decorations up in the street.
We spotted the Makohine Railway Viaduct, Ohingaiti always a worthy candidate for a photo, I believe. Even better with a train going across, but I wasn’t that lucky this time. It wasn’t too long ago that we crossed the viaduct ourselves when we travelled on the Northern Explorer train from Auckland after our Aussie Adventure trip.
It was lunch time, and we decided to stop at Flat Hills Café. Plenty of room here for caravans and campervans in the car park.
Flat Hills Café for lunch
Flat Hills Café offer the most delicious hot roast meat sandwiches, so that was what we ordered. Roast pork for her and lamb for him, followed by a nice coffee. Flat Hills have developed a new motor camp, so we enquired about the costs and went to have a look. There are both power sites and those without power available, plus cabins for hire, which are getting verandas completed.
Cabins at Flat Hills Motor Camp
Lunch over, we hit the road again and had a quick stop at the Waiouru Army Museum – they have the best perfectly clean ablutions around and plenty of parking at the back of the building for caravans and campers. The fuel tank was topped up across the road and we were soon on our way again. Mt Ruapehu was peeping out of the clouds, just long enough for a few photos. Then the clouds covered the mountain, and the rain came down again.
We continued on through Rangipo, Turangi, and around the east side of Lake Taupo, finally arriving at the NZMCA park at Taupo Airport. There has been a barrier gate installed at the entrance since our last visit. Although there were plenty of other vans already on site, there was still room for many more.
On site at Taupo Airport
Safely on site, we signed the book, put our money in the iron maiden, and swapped a few books too. We’re here for the next two nights. It gets rather chilly here at Taupo overnight, just hope we stay warm and cozy. We were treated to a pretty sun set colouring the western skies – what a great finish to the day.
Sun set at Taupo