A break away - Huka, Hobbiton and Coromandel
The day after Tongariro we made a quick visit to Huka Falls in Taupo, where the Waikati river is the only outlet for lake Taupo. With the recent rain this was in full flow, giving the jet boats some fun.
We then drove on to the Hobbition movie set, we had decided not to visit last November. As the movie of the Hobbit is about to be filmed they have been busy re-building the set and we had to sign confidentiality agreements with 3 foot 7 limited and cannot put any of the may photographs we took on the blog. We ar enot allowed to discuss what we saw or heard during the tour with anyone (specifically including family and friends). We can say we thought the visit was 'awesome'. According to the NZ Herald filming was due to start in Feb, but Peter Jackson is in hospital recovering from an op on his perforated ulcer.
We then popped over to loook at Coromandel Peninsular, which is very like Cornwall; full of tourists, poor road structure due to the topography, stunning beaches and lots of yummy places to eat (though not so good at the gluten free stuff).
Hot water beach was a delight - the longest Caroline has ever sat stil on a beach. As every Kiwi knows, you take a shovel and dig a hole in the sand, which fills with geothermally heated water. It takes a while to find a patch the right temperature and then you get to relax in your own personal geothermal pool.
The following day we walked along to Cathedral Cove and along beautiful beaches, continuing the film theme as parts of the Chronicles of Narnia were filmed there (along with White Island - see November).
Then back to the boat with loads to do in preparation for leaving NZ, after returning from Oz at the end of Feb.