Not raining this morning but still couldn't convince Raymo to do the 3 hour tour by open tractor to Cape Kidnappers Gannet colony. Had heard it was worthwhile but still very early in the season. After brekkie and a coffee back in Havelock North, we still drove out to check out the grey pebbly Clifton Beach. At least we could see the rugged sheer cliffs of the coastline of the cape Kidnappers area. Wound our way back along the coastline intersected by several rivers to the interesting township of Napier. Much of this area is described as the Fruit Bowl of Hawkes Bay - the plateau has an abundance of orchards - apples, figs, strawberries, and citrus..Both Hastings and Napier had been badly damaged by an earthquake in 1931 and Napier in particular has been rebuilt in a colourful Art Deco theme. Quite impressive. The sun was well and truly shining so we hired push bikes and rode off along a section of the extensive bike tracks along the port area (past the container terminal) and past the bars and eateries of West Quay in Ahuriri. Was fun and much needed exercise.
Enjoyed strolling through the touristy streets of Napier with plenty of upmarket shops and cafes but decided to complete our Hawkes Bay wine trail experience with another highly recommended vineyard - Mission Estate. Had another delightful late lunch in a beautiful setting - Lamb and salmon with a glass of Rose!
After much deliberation in regard to weather forecasts and also the realisation that we can not possibly cover all we would have liked to in 15 days - we decided to forego Gisborne and the north east corner and headed off inland to Taupo.
Enroute to Taupo on the two
hour drive the road inclined with lush green undulating farmland - sheep, venison, alpacas...and pine forests.
As we descended the pine forests become denser though many areas have been logged and had significant replantings.
Fortunately we rolled down into the scenic town of Taupo right on the lake with the fuel tank pretty close to empty... But all good! Cruised around
town, found a beaut holiday park for the night then did some shopping and had a drink at a local pub right on the lake. Back for some laundry, wine and cheese...before calling it a night.