i picked up the car yesterday and drove out to some of the small towns around auckland to sample yet more of the cafes. i really could get used to this as a way of life.

this morning it was a drive down from auckland to rotorua. looking at all of the maps it seemed like it would just be a motorway haul, but once outside auckland you realise how small the population of new zealand is. for the majority of the way it was a single lane road with very little traffic. it turned into a really enjoyable drive. luckily, it's a bit cloudy today so things didn't get to hot either.

i am staying right on the edge of lake rotorua and the smell of sulphur is surprisingly strong. this is an area of many geysers and lots of other thermal activity. having arrived i just wandered around the town itself which is pretty small, really just a couple of roads with lots of hotels on. the plan for tomorrow is to go to the polynesian spa (which i can see out of my window) for a lounge in the hot pools and a massage. then drive up to hell's gate.

apologies that there has been a bit of a gap between postings, there is no internet connection in my room so i don't suppose this will get replicated until i get back to auckland on tuesday.