Day 2 - Auckland/Rotorua
The sun shining through our window awakened me early, but I soon found everyone else was already awake. We packed, and got
ready to leave after a brief breakfast. Jen took the SUV out of the garage, we checked out, and soon departed south out of Auckland.
The highway was pleasant but the relatively low speed limit (100 kph) was some maddening. We were soon on smaller roads, though,
and went down to the seaside town of Thames. From there we went north along a winding seaside frontage road to the water gardens,
which were a very pleasant destination, a combination of lily ponds and a waterfall. We saw penguins on the way in, but they had
already departed when we left, and the beaches were teeming with people.
Many winding roads later, we reached a campground trailhead, and set out along a wide gravel path through the temperate rain forest
to a waterfall. The path, although well maintained, obviously had suffered some damage, being almost entirely wiped out by a mudslide
at one point. Nonetheless, we ascended to see a rather impressively steep waterfall. We headed back without incident, and headed
towards our new hotel.
We arrived in the evening, and being already tired and somewhat sweaty from our earlier excursion, opted to order in from the
local Chinese restaurant. They apparently managed to confuse "doughnut" with "fish and chips" but otherwise was pretty edible.
We had our own dedicated hot tub, so we (snuggly) fit into it and relaxed there for a while before turning in.
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