After Rotorua, Julian and I made our way down to Taupo. It was only an hour and a half, so we stopped at some hot springs along the way (kerosene creek). One of my favorites, as the creek itself was hot water complete with a hot waterfall that you can stand under! After exploring Taupo a bit, we had an amazing sunset to even out the day.
Taupo was another mountain biking mecca. I definitely want to come back to hit the trails here. We woke up to a flat tire, and our airbnb host was great! She borrowed a air pump from her neighbor to at least get us to the store to get it patched up, and be on our way.
We decided to make the trek from Taupo to Plimerton in one day. I didn't take many pictures, but it reminded me alot of Eastern Oregon. Volcanos and desert. Everyone in NZ was doing the Tongario crossing (mt doom), but it was a bit ambitious of a hike for us (12+ miles). Again-if I went back I'd like to be in better shape to do that hike, and mountain bike the plentiful trails.
We arrived in Plimerton via the steepest, windiest road I've ever been on. Seriously! it was over 45 degrees! We did have the best view ever from our airbnb though! It overlooked the ocean, and a storm cell passed through, complete with lightning, rainbows, and omnious clouds
The next day we took the 2 hour drive inland to Upper Hutt. Upper Hutt is part of a rainforest and also home to some Lord of the Rings film locations. This hike was from the Rivendale car park - the swing bridge track and highly recomended.