After three nights staying in the apple orchard, it was time to pack up and move on. There was a fuel stop at Napier, then we drove around the estuary and past the airport.
Estuary at Napier
Turning on to The Napier-Taupo Road, (SH5) the start of our trip took us through the very pretty Esk Valley. This is a very fertile area and heavily planted in grape vines and fruit trees.
The Napier-Taupo Road goes over one hill after another, is full of twists and turns, passing through many forestry blocks. Some of these blocks have been clear felled, leaving the landscape looking bare and forlorn. But there has been plenty of new planting to replenish this sustainable crop.
Pinus radiata trees
Some of the hills very very steep, and our 4WD slowly chugged up the steepest, valiantly towing our heavy van behind. Luckily there were plenty of passing lanes to allow the traffic behind us to get safely on it’s way. Up and over yet another hill we looked down on a beautiful view across some farm land.
It was interesting to find several signs along this piece of road for drivers of electric cars to stop and recharge. Who would have thought! As the electric cars have a limited range, these charging points must be a necessity.
Electric cars pull in here
Our trip today was 170km and took us over quite high mountain ranges - I was certainly glad to finally arrive in Taupo. Being warm and sunny we had no weather issues with this trip, but in winter the road is sometimes covered with snow and ice. We caught a glimpse of Lake Taupo as we drove through the gates of the Taupo Airport NZMCA Park. Arriving in time for a rather late lunch, we settled down to some R&R as we watched all the other caravans, campers and buses roll in during the afternoon. This is a really popular site, and very well utilised. We are staying for one night only, leaving in the morning for Hamilton.
Plenty more arrivals filled the gaps by evening