With our tyre pressures checked by a helpful manager at the tyre place over the road from our accommodation, followed by a visit to the dump station, we were finally ready to say goodbye to Tokoroa. The plan was to travel along SH32 and along the western side of Lake Taupo - which took us over the Whakamaru Dam. Whakamaru Power Station is the fourth hydroelectric power station on the Waikato River. (Robin has a bit of a thing for power stations so is always pleased when we drive by one of these engineering marvels.)
Driving over the Whakamaru Dam
Our travels took us past rolling farmland and we were interested to see some amazing rocky outcrops. There were plenty of pine plantations in this part of the country too.
Changing to SH41 at Kuratau Junction, we climbed up hill and down dale, to get our first glimpse of the southern end of Lake Taupo. Quite a different view to the one we usually see when we travel up SH1.
And it wouldn’t be a trip along the Desert Road without a mountain photo. Here is Mt Ngauruhoe peeping out in the distance.
A glimpse of Mt Ngauruhoe
Our stop for the night was at Makio Farms in Ohingaiti, a CAP (cost applicable property) for NZMCA members only. As it turned out, the owners had only recently made their property available, and our two vans were their first customers.
The farm dogs gave us a rousing welcome as we drove onto the property, some were tied up to their kennels and a couple of others were running loose. But once we had arrived and the owners came out to see what the dogs were barking at, they soon calmed down. After all, they were only doing their job of guarding the property.
Farm dogs on duty
Our vans were soon backed into place, the legs wound down, and windows opened up wide to make the most of the hot sunny day. Our hosts were very welcoming indeed.
All set up for our night on the farm
The pet lambs arrived – wanting their bottles. Then one of them checked out the dog house.
After a restful night in the country, the next morning we purchased a dozen fresh farm eggs each, said our goodbyes and started on the last stretch of our journey to take us home. What’s this – bulls on the loose? No, it’s only one of several statues which now adorn the town of Bulls. They certainly need a second glance as you drive by.
A black bull on the loose in Bulls
Before too long we were pulling into our village. The van was soon unpacked and put back in the parking area, ready for our next trip away. We’ll just get our breath back, before we’re away again.