The vents on the other side were very active and signs warned us not to linger. This area last erupted in August 2012

As we descended Lake Taupo gradually become visible in the distance.

We had lunch at Ketetahi Hut then made our way down to the car park another 2 hours down at 900 meters.

The last few km. suddenly changing from barren volcanic wasteland to verdant Forrest.

We got to the car park in time to catch the early 3.00 pm bus back to the Skotel where we went straight to the spa for an hour followed by a sauna. Bliss after our hard day. We had done the 19.4 km climbing 800 meters and descending 1000 meters. We were buggered!

After and early night we were up to see that the higher mountains were covered in cloud. We were very pleased we picked the right day to go yesturday. After a big breakfast wethought we would stretch the legs so went for stroll to Taranaki Falls

Where the water is slowly cutting through the 15000 year old lava flow. We were feeling good and the weather was holding so we continued on.

Lower Lake Tama was lovely but the thought of the ascent to Upper Lake Tama was all to much so we headed back.

Following the stream this time back to Whakapapa Village for cuppa at the Chalet.

Our timing was perfect as the rain came in so we had a leisurely afternoon reading and snoozing.

Time to head back to Auckland to Paul's place for our last night and another party. On the way back we visited the Glow Worm Caves at Waitomo.

The Party at Paul's place included many of the crew who spent time on P'zazz during last years Pacific Cruise. It was great night and capped off a sensational holiday in North Island, New Zealand. Our thanks to Paul and the Gillard family and friends for their warm welcome and generosity.

 

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