Tauranga, Orakei Korako, Taupo
We got into Tauranga around 6.30pm and found lodging in the Fountain Court Motel. We went for a walk out onto the bridge, watching the birds on the old bridge pylons and in the trees, and then headed into town. Lots of shops were still open, including a Browsers' Books, and we found somewhere a little posh ($50 for two) for dinner. Afterwards we drove out to Mt Maunganui, where we didn't go swimming in the pool.
Friday 18th February
We went for a walk on the bridge again and then drove back into town, where we decided against doing a "swim with the dolphins" trip and looked at camping and clothes stores. I bought a secondhand copy of Angela Carter's American Ghosts and Old World Wonders from a library disposal.
In Rotorua we bought food for lunch and ate it by the lake, and had a quick look at some shops, but otherwise didn't linger.
Our major stop was at Orakei Korako geothermal park. Here a ferry takes you across a lake to a landscape full of steamholes, hot water, coloured algae, and bubbling mud. (Drive mode on the DSLR proved useful when trying to photograph this.) There's also a cave.