With our longest driving day yet ahead of us, we hit the road as soon as we could in the morning. Our main reason for coming to New Zealand was to see the landscapes, so although anxious to get to our destinations, we were enjoying the drives all the same.
Today would take us from the pastures and vineyards of Martinborough through some very moody hills (thanks to the rainy skies above) to our lunch destination of Napier.
Feeling slightly guilty about putting Baby back in the car seat, we forged onwards through a mountainous stretch with way too many construction zones. We found a roadside pull-out to nurse at with views of the forest below, then continued on. It was a relief when we saw Lake Taupo as we knew we were getting close, but we were much later than expected, so we couldn't afford a stop there as well. With aching backs and a cranky companion, we entered Rotorua.
|At one of our rest stops|
We passed a lodge that seemed engulfed in thick smoke and enviously read the sign that it housed its own hot springs pools, then let out exasperated sighs as Google seemed to lose our destination. After going around in circles and down some questionable side streets, we finally realized that that lodge WAS our destination (and also the cheapest option in town, thank you Craig)!
Though rundown in appearance, the sulphur pool alongside the river made up for what the room lacked. We quickly unpacked and made a surprisingly good meal using what the miniscule "kitchenette" provided.
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