As it was very hot, on Sunday the weather changed completely and gotcold (around 10-12degrees) and rainy over night. We were wonderingwhat to do but still went on the planned lake-tour to the modern Maorirock carvings (partially in the rain, but on a lovely replica of a1920-steam-boat ). The carvings on a rock around Lake Taupo (the biggest lake in the Northern Island, with 60km length and 42 kmwidth), accessible only by water, were worth it:-)
A rabbit camping with us:)
Trying to escape the cloudy weather we drove to Napier (known as an art-deco town on the East coast). Nico was very happy as this region is famous with its wineries (he made wine-tasting in 2 places), myself enjoyed the fruit orchards and had juicy New Zealand apples, yummy apricots, sweet cherries, fresh avocados.
I saw an avocado tree:))
On Tuesday, being eager to see some more nature beauty we decided to give it a second chance and go for a scenic flight over the 3 sacred mounta ins 100 km south of Taupo. The three still active (and nowadays supervised by scientists) volcanoes Mt Ruapehu, Mt Tongariro and Mt Ngaruhoe rising up to 2797 m are famous for the great view of their peaks and the alpine lakes in between, they have been also used as a scenery for the movie "The Lord of the rings". Unfortunately when we got to the tiny airport next to the mountains the weather was sooo foggy and rainy, the sky completely cloudy and all peaks were invisible, so no at all a time for flying:( Indeed I start to believe that one can have all 4 seasons in one day here (as the locals tend to describe the unpredictable and changing weather of the islands).
Comparing this green country with Australia we have to say that we were (negatively) suprised that people are less friendly and relaxed than down under (of course we met some really nice people, but in general they are rare). On the road one can experience a mix of Dutch ignorance of rules and Italian craziness, not to best thing to have on mostly turning roads with road works every 5 km ( and especially when you drive a 5,30 m long x 2,70 high box on wheels)...