Friday, 21 February 2020

Ruatiti Domain

This campsite between Wellington and Lake Taupo in the N island deserves it's own blog entry. 17km from the main road, the council maintained campsite next to a river in a gorge was one of our favourites.  

More Blenheim, then up to Picton to catch the ferry

Sadly even the electronic specialist garage in Blenheim couldn't sort Bailey's problem, but Jim of the  Auto super shoppe was kind enough to lend us their courtesy car for the afternoon. So we went to see an exhibition of Peter Jackson's collection of WW1 aeroplanes...and explored the countryside. See how brown the hills are. Drought conditions exist on the east coast which hasn't had rain to speak of since October, while the west coast suffers floods and landslides due to too much.

So Bailey was no better but no worse, brake lights do work but only when the key isn't in the ignition! A problem that can wait until Auckland. 

We headed up to Picton and had a fun evening meeting Nicki Murray's friend Lynne, who had spent a week on Tintin with Nicki in New Caledonia last year, after we had headed back to UK.

Walk views

Tongariro National Park

We started the day sharing our breakfast with 2 great Dutch girls camping next to us, who had run out of food. They had walked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing yesterday but finished too late to get to a supermarket...Their smiles were huge when they joined us for bacon and eggs.

We headed up to Whakapapa to walk, and noticed interesting clouds en route...a prize from Rob to anyone who knows the name

Mt Ruapehu was hidden in cloud but we had a great walk up on the shoulders of the mountain to see lakes in volcanic craters

Tuesday, 18 February 2020


Bailey the van is having electronic brake pedal switch surgery today at Blenheim's Auto Super Shoppe. So we are exploring Blenheim and environs on foot.

Drying out near Blenheim

Exploring from Elaine Bay