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Day 4 Rotorua - Taupo - Hawkes Bay

Ma Te Rotorua pai, we will miss you!

As we depart our beloved village in Rotorua, we return back to our tour of the North Island as we veer south and east, we are headed towards the south-eastern seaboard of the North Island where we find hot springs, spas, farmland with baby animals, and of course vineyards.

The resort town of Taupo sits on the edge of the largest lake in New Zealand and is filled with an abundance of trout. Here you will find all that our travellers could want, the beauty of the lake, the surrounding mountains and forests mixed with farmland and an excellent array of restaurants. But one of the most desirable amenities is the underground thermal activity that provides hot spas for relaxation. And this is where we will experience the relaxation and therapeutic properties of the Polynesian Spa excursion. Sit back in the pools, relax and rejuvenate the aching muscles, strong bones and mental benefits that come from these magical waters.

The amazing road trip from Taupo to Hawkes Bay is all about the fantastic scenery. There is a mix of everything awe-inspiring, powerfully breathtaking, and astonishing with a mix of rugged hills, beautiful valleys, gentle plains and magical vistas.

We enter the town of Napier in late afternoon as we find a spot for lunch, enjoy some time exploring and refreshing. In 1931 a devastating earthquake nearly destroyed the city of Napier. It was rebuilt in the style of the times, and is now considered one of the Art Deco Capitals of the world.

The vineyards of Hawke's Bay are within walking distance to the town of Napier. This is where we will enjoy the well-regarded wines of the region, enjoy the architecture, the land and the gannet colonies that are known nest on these beaches.

Hawkes Bay is the appellation that lies along the south-eastern seaboard of the North Island, the land here is green, the slopes gentle and the grapes ripe and plump from intense sunlight and cool breezes. The Hawke’s Bay Wine Trails have over 100miles of flat, easy-riding trails throughout the region, connecting the award-winning wineries, unique cafés, quaint country pubs and artisan shops. In addition there are mountain bike parks that are very highly-regarded and boast some very spectacular scenery.

We relax for a lovely overnight stay at the hotel in Napier, and as the name implies the scenic landscape surrounds us as we enjoy the region's beauty and elegance. Our laundry is refreshed, our hearts filled with love of the land, and our bellies hold the treats of the day, delicious Chardonnay, luscious Merlots, and the regional food to match. Don't forget to thank Colleen for the back rubs while lazing in the hot pools, who knew she had the magical fingers to relax and refresh us!

We have the evening to ourselves, we decide to gather in the outdoor areas of the hotel, or across the street at the beach, we'll bring our wine cups, wine, some nibbles that we picked up along our tour, and laugh about the activities we enjoyed thus far. I will have the battery operated disco lights, and illuminate our conversations as we feel the Southern Hemisphere breezes, wait for the stars and moonlight to invade our gathering and adding to this glorious evening. Say goodnight my sweet travelers... until tomorrow!

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