Firstly an overview of the trip undertaken - and it did take approximately seven hours, door to door
Lake Taupo was created by a massive volcanic eruption millions of years ago and is around halfway between Auckland and Masterton. We stopped in the small tourist town of Taupo for brunch around 1130
After Taupo the next place of note is the Desert Road, which runs through the Tongariro National Park and is home to two active volcanoes, Tongariro and Ngarahoe
The land on either side of the road is also home to the New Zealand army's training area although, despite what the sign promises, I have travelled it many times and have yet to see a single explosion!
At the southern end of the road is the small town of Waiouru, which is to the New Zealand Army what Aldershot or Salisbury Plain is to the Brits. Hence it is the location of the QE II National Army Museum.
Above and below are views of the Tararua ranges which can be seen from our nieces back garden
Next few shots are the historic town of Greytown, where the council decreed twenty plus years ago that no buildings in the main street were to be modernised, and any old buildings in a state of disrepair had to be regenerated.
The result is that they have created a very picturesque reminder of what small town New Zealand looked like 50-100 years ago
Nice bit of lunch time refreshment!
Which was consumed at this attractive old hotel
By pure luck the local museum had a free open day so we had a quick look around
Another view of the Tararua's
And finally a field of farmed red deer, showing a few stags resting in the winter sun.
Nice way to spend a few days away from the hectic pace of life in Auckland - didn't miss the traffic or the work emails one bit! My next post will have something related to toy soldiers in in … honest!