2 Fat Lattes cafe, Napier
To get here, we had to first go through the nondescript town of Wairoa where we couldn't find the supermarket, and then go along roads that turned from paved to gravel to paved more times than made sense. But getting there, we pulled into the campground and tried to wait out the rain to put up our tent. It seems that the lake has its own microclimate where it is always in the middle of a sun shower. It will occasionally be cloudy while showering or sunny with no sun shower, but the majority of the time was sun shower time. Even while looking right up at the sky, I couldn't quite figure out where the rain was coming from.
Me pointing to the fantastic view of the lake (see above). During a break in the sun shower, we went on a bush walk that provided such great views.
Seeing this knobbly tree, I wanted a photo, and Yannick cannot pose like a normal person.
This is how one poses for a photo. The trees along the path had some interesting root systems, one of which I could fit inside. What you can't see is the huge spider web just above my head (no spider to be seen otherwise I wouldn't have knelt down there). I couldn't help but think what that would have been like if we lived in Australia, with all sorts of creepy crawlies of a size only seen in the time of the dinosaurs. And poisonous to boot. I've heard there is a plant there that kills you if you touch it. Not eat it, just touch it! Thank goodness for New Zealand's nice little ecosystem, full of flightless birds.
The majestic rata tree. It is estimated to be about one thousand years old. Yannick used a vertical panorama to capture its height rising far above us.
On our second bush walk of the day, we visited Papakorito falls. Papakorito sounds more Mexican to me than Maori, but I guess it's all in the pronunciation (and I pronounce it with a ridiculously stereotypical Mexican accent for comedic effect).
Our third and final bush walk showcased the Aniwaniwa falls, three waterfalls in quick succession with lots of trees covered in green moss, ferns and other growths.
We walked down to the lake that evening to see if we could go for a swim, however the water was extremely cold and we saw a dark blue storm cloud brewing so thought better of it.