The rain finally broke this morning. We awoke to a crisp, clear morning in the New Zealand capital city of Wellington. After driving in and around the city, I am convinced that this is a very nice, liveable city (with some stunning views), but frankly just doesn’t offer that much for tourists, at least not beyond the one night we spent here.
So we pushed on north towards Lake Taupo (I know, another lake? What is this, Minnesota?). The landscape has changed significantly, though I’m not sure I can express this as much in the photos. It’s still green, it’s still beautiful, but it’s much more tame than the South Island, much more urbanized with many quaint small towns and just a little more…I guess “altered” is the right word.
One of the biggest changes was our arrival in Tongariro National Park, and all of a sudden it looked like New Mexico, or Arizona in the mountains (Flagstaff/Winslow for those familiar). Check it out; we were just as surprised as you:
We were being followed by an asshole truck driver and there weren’t any places really to pull off, so not quite the best shot I’d have liked to show off this particular area. But pretty bad-ass looking mountain and still love those Kiwi clouds.
Oh yeah, here’s Mount Tongariro which spit up an ash cloud on Tuesday and scared the shit out of some geologists. Don’t think the world media really picked up on it though…no lava=no media interest.
Today was our longest drive of the trip; around 360 kilometers and executed in just over five hours. Though I love road trips and can look at scenery (even “boring” scenery) for hours, one does get a bit bored. So I shot this pic, which came out really well. Might actually print it…very cool road trip pic if I do say so myself.
(Rich, Willis and Abby: I know the car isn’t black…forgive me. We’re calling this one the White Shadow, but none are as cool as the Black Bandit).
August 10, 7:10pm
Lake Taupo, New Zealand