We were to spend Christmas 2014 in Whangarei and our plan was to drive north over a few days, staying in Turangi and Hamilton to break up the journey. So first stop Turangi. We left Porirua on a Friday night with the thought that Alayna would sleep for most of the journey. I guess next time we should discuss the plan with her first. After briefly considering turning back (we had also left our child-carrier backpack at home) we decided to complete the journey and with the assistance of videos on the phone to distract our upset daughter we made it safely to Turangi.
We had booked a holiday home and were shown the way by the owner. There was a minor inconvenience in that there was no power at the house due to an unexpected electrical fire down the street but that didn’t really concern us as we just wanted to sleep. Once the car was unpacked it was straight to bed and sleep came once we had Alayna settled.
We had one full day in Turangi which we had planned to fill with walking. After the adventures of the night before Alayna was a tired wee girl and we managed a walk to the supermarket where she fell asleep as we walked back to the house and her morning sleep went for a number of hours. In the afternoon we took a short drive out of Turangi to Tokaanu to visit the thermal walk.
It was only a 20 minute loop but was still interesting and Alayna found the bubbling mud quite funny. There were steaming pools of hot water and also a few hangi pits build over steaming vents. Definitely worth a visit and it’d be good to return and make use of the hot pools for some relaxation, maybe after a long walk.
The next day we did a walk in the morning before our next long drive. There is a track named the “Tongariro River Trail – Major Jones to SH1 loop” that follows the Tongariro River and loops through Turangi which looked to be a pleasant walk. It was perhaps a bit too long to be carrying Alayna but was otherwise a good track with expansive views, some forested parts and a good footbridge over the river. We sat and watched a fly fisherman unsuccessfully fishing and saw a few family groups having a swim along the river.
The onward journey to Hamilton was a lot smoother than out initial drive from Porirua. Alayna slept for a few hours and we had a nice picnic lunch just before Cambridge at a small park looking over the Waikato river. When we got to Hamilton we had some time shopping before making our way to the Burdett’s in Rototuna, home for our next few days.