Operation Desert Storm

Leaving Coromandel Peninsula on our way to Taupo. The roads really are dangerous, we passed a few flower covered effigies along the way, cautioning us to take it slow and steady.

Pretty little spot to stop and picnic.

Rata flowers!

And then suddenly we were in the desert… NZ is amazing. One minute youre in lush green rainforest, the next you’re in a freaking desert, man!  And look, thats totally a mountain.


Positively Martian!

Looking like an arsetronaut with a yellow sparkle helmet on mars. Our van and a bloody mountain!

Seriously can’t get over that there’s a mountain there. Thats not even the big one, we couldnt get a decent picture of the big guy. Beyond this parking area it was for 4WD vehicles only, and we thought about chancing it but there was ice in the shadows and freezing to death in the middle of a random desert didn’t seem worth the risk. CB drove ! And CB DOESN’T drive. He was so cautious trundling over all the bumps. It was fun being a passenger, bumping along, looking at sceneries!



Mmm canned spaghetti, ham steak and 2-day old crumpets! Them’s mountain food!





We went for a walk around, it was like being in an episode of Star Trek, the original series.

Furry stumpy little wizard trees.

And then we noticed the storm rolling in over the hills to the south. Oh my…


So we took off and stayed in Mangaweka for the next couple of days. We stayed at a campsite in the bottom of a gorge for $14 a night. It was really nice, we were the only ones there and they had a little hut for the kitchen and a bathroom so I was pretty happy, just not to have to pee leaning against a rock or hill for a couple of days! We even tried to be Real Canadian Campers and sleep in the tent with a bonfire. We couldnt get the fire going and the tent thing was probably a bad idea. We laid uncomfortable on the cold ground for about an hour and half waiting for the other one to cave and say “Lets just sleep in the damn van!” And then it started raining, so that kind of sealed the deal, and we high tailed it back into the safety of our little van.

CB found me a walking stick and sharpened the end into a fork so I could try my hand at spear fishing the trout I decided definitely must be in the river. We tried out the waterproofness of our new hiking boots. We made beautiful gourmet camp meals. We made friends at the local bar with a cat that drooled like there was a hose in its mouth and a nice english lady at the post office/cafe across the street. It was a nice week.


Author: Kara Lalalala

I write this blog for my family cause I am terrible at letters & emails.

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