Leave windy Wellington and drive up east coast to Porangahau beach. Gorgeous place, crappy weather. Stop at nature reserve on the way to see NZ's only white kiwi in captivity. Squeee! So cute. Bucket list item: see a kiwi. Check. Set up camp by the beach. Walk along the beach. Dinner. Sleep.
|That white blob in the corner is a kiwi I swear|
Wake and weather shows no sign of being not-crappy. After beach walk during rare break from the rain and lunch, pack up and leave. Drive to Napier. Set up camp in motor lodge and return to town to look at beautiful art deco buildings. Rains so hard we have to give up and return to camp. Fuck you rain! Eat, sleep.
More rain. Head into town anyway and start day at the farmer's market. Breakfast cupcake. Mmmm... Walk around looking at beautiful art deco architecture. Fabulous. Curse my phone for running out of battery. No pictures. Eat amazing sushi for lunch. Return to motor lodge for dinner. Cockroach in our food box. Die inside. Eat, sleep.
Wake to further crappy weather. C'mon New Zealand! Decide to head to Gisborne to meet a friend. Camp in camp Takapouri outside town of Gisborne. Drive past second-longest place name in the world. Tent nearly blown away setting up. Not a good start. Possible repeat of Mt. Cook situation. Grab meat and beer from town and return for BBQ. BBQ out of gas. Friend has genius idea of placing BBQ grill over cooker rings. Indoor BBQ deemed a success by all involved. Bid farewell and attempt to sleep through the wind.
|Indoor BBQ, don't judge us it was delicious...|
Wake having slept fitfully through crazy wind and zombie dreams. Dismantle tent and drive through town. Car overheating. Drop it at a garage for "one hour". Half a day and $160 later car is returned fixed. Depart Gisborne for Rotorua. Set up camp in DOC site by stunning lake Okareka. Read until I can't see. Sleep.
Wake and lounge by the lake. Make friends with the ducklings. Drive to Kuirau Park in Rotorua city centre and walk amongst bubbling geothermal water and mud pools. Oooh... Aaaah... Do our best to ignore the smell farts. Drive to blue and green lakes to eat lunch. Return to camp for epic nap. Swim in lake. Dinner and lakeside wine. Sleep.
|That tiny person in the centre of Jurrasic Park there is moi|
Wake and the sun is out for the first time in many days. Relax and enjoy it for several hours. Drive to town for picnic in fart-park. Nose around Maori village Ohinemutu with fantastic native architecture and art. Head out into the country to hot spring resort and soak in delicious thermal pools for a couple of hours. Have a look at NZ's largest geothermal pool which is on site. Boiling water at 90 degrees. Return to town for drinks in historic Pig & Whistle bar. Return to camp. Sleep.
|Wharenui: a Maori meeting hall|
Just one more part to this never-ending story of my New Zealand adventure. Thank you for your patience so far whoever it is reads these. It'll be over soon I promise