Monday, March 31, 2014

Paradise re-found….

I am currently sitting at what must be one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand.
After leaving Rotorua I headed eastwards not really sure where I was heading. I wanted to see some of the beautiful lakes around the area. Unfortunately the area is not very motorhome friendly and there are limited places to park overnight. So I passed through some beautiful countryside with some beautiful vistas over some stunning lakes. I finally found a rest area around Rotoiti
From there I headed through to Kawerau. An interesting small town in a very interesting part of New Zealand. It was quite delightful and I stopped at the iSite to find out what was in the area. I found that the following day (Saturday) was the start of their 80th birthday celebrations so after some discussion with the very nice young man at the iSite, I decided to head out of dodge! I was not really in the mood for crowds and so I bought a pass in to Lake Tarawera for $5.00. Turns out the best $5 I have ever spent.
After a very dusty trip for 20km through the private forestry area ….
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I came across the Lake Tarawera Outlet Dept of Conservation Campsite.
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It is a delightful spot at the outlet of the lake and the start of the Tarawera River. It is nestled at the foot of Mt Tarawera on the opposite side from where I was last week at Lake Rerewhakaaiti. I was the second vehicle there, the first was a car and boat trailer and there followed a couple of carloads of families tenting and a number of vehicles of different types with families, couples and groups staying for the weekend. It is a large area and I was by myself until Saturday when two couples arrived by kayak to stay the night. They moved off again on Sunday morning.
The campsite is beside the river, which is a fast flowing, crystal clear river full of trout, native fish and freshwater crayfish. It is beautiful.
In the morning I headed off on a tramp across to Humphries Bay, a 16km return trip. It was a fascinating trip, some lakeside vistas, some deep forest, some Manuka forest and some amazing gorges with some very recent rockfalls.
There were some fascinating things on the way with some great growth on roots looking like huge green snakes across the way and some soft mosses that were about 50cm deep, soft as and I thought that the area would make a great campsite!
I also saw three wallabies, yes wallabies. You can jut see one of them below.
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They were very skittish and didn’t stay around long. Bounding off into the bush. Quite a shock I must say.
My walking app told me that I had done the trip in 2 hr 45 mins but as I left around 9:30 and got back at 1:30 I think it lied, but a great trip, easier coming back but still a nice trip. There is also another 10km walk from Humphries Bay to Okataina Lodge. Might load up the kayak with the tent and sleeping bag, stay the night at Humphries Bay and then do the walk to Okataina and back, then paddle back.
A lovely evening with some great cloud formations.
Sunday I unloaded the kayak and headed out on the lake for about 3 hours, I was tracking down the southern edge of the bay and the two couples that had stayed the night were heading out down the northern edge towards Humphries Bay. I headed down to the end of the bay, crossed the bay and headed back to camp‘
kayak trip
It wasn’t until I returned that I realised just how far i hadn’t gone…. but I was pleased by the time and distance I travelled. It was beautiful and just so peaceful.
So today I got the MiniKat out and sailed the same trip as I had in the kayak but went back and forth across the bay learning to sail the boat successfully…well trying to anyway. Was a great couple of hours sailing. IMG_2896
I have seen some lovely thing while I have been here and here is an album of various plants and things ….
So tomorrow I am heading off to the Tarawera Falls and then back to Rotorua to do some grocery shopping and then off to Whakamaru to meet with Dragons’ Rest for a few days.