Taupo is a really nice town and our campsite was brilliant. We befriended a lovely guy from Canada and did some short walks around the area. James went into a thermal hot spring with a mini waterfall and we made use of the library wifi. The next day we had quite a long drive to Coromandel bay. The next day was one of the only rainy days we had in NZ but it didn't deter our explorations as we head first for hot water beach, only to find the tide was in and we couldn't actually dig ourselves a hole but I sent james into the sea a bit deeper and he came up trumps finding a spot where very very hot water was bursting through. It was surreal to be in cold sea water and then have hot water surrounding your feet. The heavens opened on our way to cathedral cove and it was a slight shame as the views were fantastic and we imagined would have been better in the sun light. The following day we had a long drive through Auckland and towards bay of islands. We stopped in at whangerui and looked out at the bay of islands. We set up camp in a forest further up the road and then had a ridiculously long out of the way drive to Russell to see the view over the bay of islands. I don't think the drive was worth it but we did stay in the nicest DOC camp and managed to book for our scuba dive on Sunday.