Last night we ate a superb meal at Tongariro Lodge, a fishing lodge where the Queen Mother and Robert Redford, to name but two, have fished and eaten.
We decided to spend the day in the Tongariro National Park, a world heritage site.
The weather was not brilliant with lots of clouds but not too cold. We were advised by the owner of the B&B to head for Whakapapa Village and the information centre there as we want to walk in the National Park. Having looked at the walk options, we opted for one to the Taranaki Falls; about a two hour round trip walk. It was well worth it for the variety of scenery and the view of the falls, which you can, and I did, walk under.
From this walk we drove up to the ski station higher up the mountain, Mt Ruapehu. Sadly, at the top there was even more cloud blocking the view completely and the ski lift was not working because of the inclement weather.
Not to be put off, we decided to drive back round to the south side of the park and look at doing another walk. This time it was only a hour and a half but to a higher waterfall - 40m. Actually it was a much harder walk but during the walk the clouds began to clear around Mt Ruapehu revealing the snow topped peak. We walked on to the falls which were impressive even with limited water coming over. On the way back we passed the only other person we saw all the time on this walk. As we got to one point walking on a board walk across a bog the clouds fully cleared from the mountain giving us fantastic views. The mountain is 2,797m high.
Driving back to Turangi with views of the mountain nearly all the away, particularly along Desert Road, to the west with the Kaimanawa mountains was a wonderful experience.
Supper was at Pukawa overlooking Lake Taupo at sunset; excellent food again.