Day 8 – Off down South

We woke up this morning to a wonderful surprise. Perfect blue skies and the sun was blazing as we looked out of our window and on to the stunning Lake Taupo with snow capped mountains in the distance. No riches on earth could have paid for this, feel totally blessed. After we lifted back our jaws and got sorted it was off on the road for the longest travel day of the road trip. A total of 4.5 hours in the car and over 3 hours on a ferry. It was a lovely start though driving round Lake Taupo and then up the mountain pass towards Tongariro National Park. Thus walk had been cancelled yesterday because of bad weather but today would have been perfect for trekking across there. We will be back again to do this the next time we come New Zealand. From there we descended the mountain roads and moved on to endless straight highways through farmland with more sheep and cattle than i could imagine existed in the world. We pulled in for a coffee and toilet stop at Taihape and again at the strange town of Bulls. And yes it was full of bulls on every street corner and in every shop window. Not worked out the significance yet but Linda saw a sign in a farmers field saying ‘Bulls for Hire’ so i reckon they are proud of their livestock lol.

Finally at 1:15 we arrived in Wellington and got booked in on the Interislander ferry for a 2:45 departure. The journey was quite stunning especially as we came to the south island. Just as we entered the Cook Strait, which is a channel through lots of little islands on the way down to Picton, we saw people running to the front of the boat. We followed and to our amazement there was a group of approx 10 dolphins all leaping along side the boat. I tried to get a photo of them but id left my camera in the car and my iPhone just wasn’t up to the job showing just a few dark blobs in the water. But that didn’t spoil another very precious moment which was the first time either of us had seen dolphins in the wild.

So the ferry docked at 6pm and we then had just a short drive along Queen Charlotte Drive with stunning views of the estuary into Havelock where we were staying. Bob who was in charge of our accommodation told us of a short walk along the harbour which would end at the Captains Daughter pub. We just made it in time to get some food and the chef decided to give us a large Hake and Chips for the price of small portion. This was washed down with a lovely pint of Speights Pale Ale.

So another day done and although this was mostly travelling it still threw up some special memories for us both. Thus country just never stops giving and I love it 🙂