It was a long day – a trip to Taupo and back again in the same day. At long last, Robin had found a new to us vehicle which ticked all the boxes and we were changing cars. Our new purchase was being delivered down from Tauranga, and we were driving up to Taupo – to meet at midday at Lake Taupo. This was to be the final trip in our trusty 1995 Toyota Landcruiser 4WD, and we pulled in to the Truck Stop at Sanson to top up with diesel.
Truck Stop at Sanson
As we drove further north the skies darkened, with the sun trying hard to break through the clouds. It did seem rather strange, appearing to look like dusk rather than mid morning.
By the time we stopped at the coffee cart at Taihape the clouds had disappeared and the skies were clear and blue again.
There was a young family parked beside us in the car park, and the children were so excited to going on a mystery car trip. They were in Taihape to have a gumboot throwing competition, they said. It certainly is the right place to be – Taihape is known as “The Gumboot Capital of the World” and boasts a large corrugated iron gumboot on the edge of town.
The famous gumboot at Taihape
Driving through the Desert Road we had wonderful views of the mountains. We pulled into some off road parking and joined car loads of tourist snapping away. The glistening white snow looked wonderful against the clear blue sky.
And a little further along we had a great view of Mt Ngauruhoe’s conical shape.
We were to meet at the Hole in One Golf Challenge on the lakeside. Anyone who makes the winning shot wins $10,000, so no wonder there was a steady stream of golfers trying for the prize. We could see a huge number of golf balls in the lake which never made it to the destination, a diver in a wet suit bobbing about under the water as he gathered them up.
And there was our new acquisition, a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee. We parked beside it and Robin got a run down of all the new features before it was handed over. With a final check to make sure we had gathered up all our belongings, and remembering to remove the sheepskin covers on the front seats, we were good to go.
The new and the old
While all this was happening I took a walk along the lake edge and was delighted to see a small float plane come buzzing over and land on the lake.
Tiny float plane landing on Lake Taupo
After a quick lunch we had to go and purchase some more road user charges. Although we had 3,000 on the car we traded in, the replacement came with only 600 or so, which wouldn’t take us very far at all. Driving back over the Desert Road Mt Ruapehu looked so nice with the sun on it’s snow covered peaks that we just had to stop for another photo shoot.
Mt Ruapehu again
We like to listen to “Magic” radio station which plays all the songs from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, enjoying every song as we know all the words. But the dial on our new car says it is “Oldies Music”, we are not that old, surely?
Driving back home through the town of Bulls, we noticed that there were several more statues of black bulls dotted around. There was a great big one on wheels by the medical centre, and a realistic one peeping out between two buildings.
Black bulls on the loose in Bulls
The skies were darkening and the rain was setting in on our final part of the journey. Robin was intrigued with the rain sensing window wipers which come on by themselves – there are a lot of new (to him) features which he will have to familiarize himself with, so there be a lot of reading of the owners handbook. We were pleased to get back home, a long day driving about 550kms
The new tow car