Jan 2016 – New Zealand Church in Thames. Rail trail from Thames Postbox posing as Ned Kelly! Lush vegetation beside rail trail. Gorgeous gorge. Baby hedgehog. Waihi station. Former gold processing plant. Tunnel on rail trail to Waihi. Paeroa bowling club. Hot springs campsite at Okauia. “Hobbit” building in Matamata. SH 27 south of Matamata. Pastureland near Matamata. Gate leading to “bush road”. The bush road. Hobbit houses? Approaching Lake Rotorua. Approaching Taupo. This garden won a gold medal at Chelsea Flower Show. View of volcanoes over Lake Taupo. On the climb from Turangi. On the climb from Turangi. Minor volcanic eruption. Still climbing. Mount Doom in the clouds on the right. Camping at 900m. Makatote viaduct. On the Auckland Wellington railway. On the Auckland Wellington railway. Mount Ruapehu. Not our sort of place, clearly! Fancy a coffee? Note the “Allsort” on the roof! Catholic church in Raetihi. Main Street, Raetihi. Church in Raetihi. Bet it was one of these *****s that stung Stephen! Wiggly road ahead. Whanganui RIver Valley. Whanganui RIver Valley. Whanganui RIver Valley. Whanganui River Valley. No sign of a religious divide here. Raetihi station. Mt Ruapehu from the road to Pipiriki. The road to Pipiriki. The campsite at Ranana. Maori meeting place on valley road. Whanganui River Valley with dodgy road surface. Repairing the road in River Valley. Cafe on River Valley road. In the Andes! (Not). Further down Whanganui River Valley. We’re heading up! The rain is coming in! Whanganui opera house. Velodrome in Whanganui. Fascinating observatory in Whanganui. Fabulous Art Deco cinema in Whanganui. Paddle steamer in Whanganui. Putiki church in Whanganui. Road from Whanganui. Farmland on road to Halcombe. Alongside the railway on road to Halcombe. Road to Halcombe. Scottsbase B&B where we went cattle rustling! The road into Palmerston North. Dodgy gas burner in Palmerston North. Manawatu river in Palmerston North. Rose garden in Palmerston North. Rose garden in Palmerston North. Glasshouse in Palmerston North. Public gardens in Palmerston North. Cricket in the park in Palmerston North. Bubble football game – Christine wanted to join in! City of Wellington from Mt Victoria. Beehive next to our tent in Picton. Our Warmshowers hosts in Picton, Val and Don. Picton harbour. Campsite in Blenheim. Gardens in Blenheim. Marlborough vineyards decorated with roses. Lots of wine in progress. The Wairu Valley. Covered up against sandflies on Wairu River. By the Wairu River. On the road to St Arnaud. At the top. Just like Switzerland. Arrived at St Arnaud. Lake Rotoiti. Lake Rotoiti. Forest walk at St Arnaud. View from church in St Arnaud. Bee-ware of this truck!