After spending the night in Taupo, we made an early morning visit to the Wairakei geothermal power station. Wairakei was the first wet-steam power station in the world.
We discovered valleys of beautiful ferns and a rainbow of colored rock during our hike through the Wairakei thermal valley.
We stopped for a moment to enjoy the view of the Rangitikei river from a bridge on Ruahine road.
With limited time, we couldn't stop everywhere, so a few photographs had to be made of the landscape out of the car window.
The next morning we went to the Mount Bruce wildlife center to photograph the Kiwi bird. Here is an important fact; the Kiwi bird is nocturnal so we did what we could using the stuffed Kiwi on display.
We were fortunate to be invited to visit Papawai Marae where we learned about the Maori's rich culture as well as the political and social history of the Wairarapa and New Zealand. At its peak, it was the largest Marae in the country and the location of the Maori Parliament.
At the end of the day we drove through a refreshing storm and were then treated to a spectacular cloud break and rainbow.
Cape Palliser Road
Continuing south, we took Cape Palliser Road to explore the southernmost tip of the North Island.
We passed the Ngawihi fishing village with its bulldozers ready to bring fishing boats ashore.
We enjoyed the dramatic scenery along the way to the lighthouse at the southernmost tip of the North Island, watching fur seals bathing in the sunshine along the rocky coastline.
The pine forests, although a controversial subject, were beautiful to photograph as the sun disappeared behind the clouds.
In the morning, we had time to explore Ocean Beach.