Hot water beach and Rotorua
It rained heavily all night but cleared in the morning, just in time for us to arrive at Hot Water beach - this amazing beach with thermal springs running underneath which you can reach by digging in the sand, so you can dig your very own hot tub! The beach was virtually empty and a nice man lent us his spade - we dug a lovely hot foot spa but didn’t have our swimmers on (it was pretty cold out) so we didn’t go for the full hot tub, but was so cool to try out! Then we drove down to Rotarua and set up camp in a central car park, with toilets that were a 5 minute walk away across the park (we were starting to learn that ‘camping area with toilets’ doesn’t necessarily mean the toilets will be close by!), but nevermind its in the middle of Rotarua and free! We headed out for a wander and checked out the night market and tourist shops, and went back for dinner and cards (no power = no netflix, argh!).
Woke up and decided we should probably wash ourselves (finally), so booked in to a powered site nearby with showers and its own hot spring pools where we spent a while soaking and scrubbing. Then we had to go fix the lighting issue and popped by ‘The Warehouse’ again for more stuff we need (all the stuff we forgot to buy the first time, like scourers and bin bags!) before a walk through a park full of thermal activity (steaming lakes and bubbling mud pools), and then through a Moari village where even the drains were steaming! Then back for a slow 5k run and more hot spring action and enjoying the electricity! We decided to try out the local chip shop chips (avoiding the fried mars bars and fried snickers bars on offer!) and ate them with lentil sloppy joes, yum.
Early start and a walk down by the lake, while Chris did a ‘Joe Wicks’ in his new trainers, then we set off - first stop a gas fitters to sort the hob issue - they were so lovely (we are at least getting to experience the delightful Kiwi Tradies), but couldn’t fix the gas issue so we went to buy a portable hob (from The Warehouse of course!), before setting off towards Lake Taupo. We stopped off at the ‘blue and green lakes’ just outside Rotorua - the lakes are next to each other but are different colours due to different minerals and sea weed, and we had a relatively dry stroll around them, then drove to a natural hot river and waterfall that you can swim in (stinky), past geysers and steaming craters, onwards to Huka Falls - a super bright blue tumbling waterfall which we admired in the rain with a few coach loads of Chinese tourists, then on to Lake Taupo to park up on another free site on the shores of the lake with lovely views… well they might be if it wasn’t so grey and cloudy!