Road Trip: Day 2 - Turangi-Waiouru-Kapiti
After a good night's sleep we didn't have to go far to our first destination: the National Trout Centre in Turangi just south of where we camped. We had a yummy breakfast which Matt cooked right in the car park before the first visitors arrived.
Tongariro Crossing. It's $10 to get in and for an additional $3 you can buy a container full of food to feed the trout. Really worth it. Make your way to the children's pond and WOAH you get to see some action!
Army Museum in Waiouru. Some interesting history in there and if you're into guns and all that - go for it! You can even research some of your own family history if you know the name and possibly rank of any family members who at some stage served in the New Zealand army. Entrance fee is $15 but students get a discount ($10).
On the way down south I was reading my Lonely Planet tour guide to see what else there would be in the area worthwhile seeing. When I came to the chapter about Kapiti Island Matt was instantly excited. He'd always wanted to go there. We have been watching lots about the New Zealand wars between Maori and Pakeha and Kapiti Island was a major spot for one of those battles. It was once home to the tribe Ngati Toa and their Chief Te Rauparaha. It is now a bird sanctuary and nature reserve, no predators at all.
In order to get to the island you need to book a ferry and get a permit from DOC (Department of Conservation). With the season being in full swing and only a few people being admitted on the island each day we didn't think we'd be lucky in making it there but I gave the companies a call anyway. And WOOHOO - there is an opening for tomorrow!!! So all we had to do was find a spot to stay overnight and then hop on board in the morning. We parked right along the water front at Paraparaumu which is where the boats run from. It was a bit weird this time with people - tourists and locals alike - walking past and watching us cook and eat in the middle of the car park. But it was all good. We had the beach right next to us and at went for a lovely night walk along the water front.
Can't wait about the tour tomorrow! Will tell you about it as soon as possible... Meanwhile here is more pictures from today's adventures... Good night :-)