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Bits and Pieces

Thursday 15th October

semi-overcast 20 °C

Yet again it was time for us to move on, as today we were leaving Taupo and driving to the art deco town of Napier. After breakfast we packed up our belongings and loaded them into the car and were soon on our way. Before we drove any distance we had decided to go and have a coffee at L'Arte Gallery and Cafe that was known for its brightly coloured almost Daliesque mosaic sculptures.

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We had a quick look round the gardens and photographed some of the interior themed sculptures and I bought some small ceramic flowers that was thought would look nice in our garden back home.

We then started to make our way towards Napier. The highway ran through a forested area and in places the trees had been cleared and we saw a number of large lumber lorries loaded up with wood. After about twenty minutes or so I realised that I had left my camera battery and charger back at our accommodation. Rather frustratingly we must have been on one of the longest stretches of road in the whole of New Zealand without a place to pull in or turn around. Fortunately after about 10 minutes or so we found somewhere where it was safe to do so, and we made the journey back to Taupo and the motel. As if to try and make the additional journey worthwhile, when we arrived back in Taupo we had the best view of the Tongariro volcanic peaks than we had done for several days. We took the opportunity to park up by the lake for a few minutes and admire the view before collecting my things and returning back the way we had come.

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Once we got beyond the point where we had turned back, the road started to become more winding and hilly. Having looked at the map we were aware that there was a waterfall at some point about halfway between Taupo and Napier, but we were not quite sure where this was. When we saw a sign marking a scenic viewpoint we decided to stop anyway. The view exceeded all our expectations, with wooded hills almost as far as the eye could see, and before us a large and noisy waterfall cascading over an escarpment.

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We stayed for quite a while and had a quick snack and then got chatting to a couple of young German guys who had been in Christchurch but when now travelling around New Zealand and then continuing on to Australia.

Eventually we decided that we really had to leave this beautiful spot and resume our journey. The road continued to wind its way between the hills passing near to yet another National Park.

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Eventually we were able to see the Pacific Ocean in the distance which signalled that we were nearing Napier. Once we arrived at the outskirts of the town, the trusty sat-nav got us to the hotel despite the fact that one of the nearby roads was closed. We checked in and Christine on reception proudly told us that we had the best room in the house and when we were shown upstairs, despite the fact that the hotel had a slightly faded opulence, we were pretty impressed.

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We settled in and had a refreshing cup of tea and then we decided to go and have a wander around the town. We walked down to the seafront and saw a rather disappointingly grey volcanic beach littered with debris from the lumber industry. We walked through the Marine Parade Gardens and then wandered up several nearby streets full of lovely Art Deco buildings.

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We had decided on the grounds of economy to have a takeaway that evening but were not able to find anywhere near the hotel. A bit of research on the Internet revealed that the best place to get fish and chips was a short drive away, so after a while in the hotel, it was back in the car. Once we had bought dinner we parked up overlooking the ocean and ate our delicious portion of fish and chips.

Posted by Gill's Travels 02:12 Archived in New Zealand Tagged new_zealand taupo napier

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