To the end….

….. Of the Thermal Explorer Highway, well that was our objective of today.

It was a later start this morning, the fumaroles noxious gases really knocked us out for the night (well the Tui might have helped).

Starting off deep in the Volcano Experience, we got to feeling the force of the earthquake that shook Christchurch and the wider Canterbury area. Watching the accompanying video brought home that 46 seconds of shaking can bring terrible devastation. Couple that with 4 reasonably active volcanoes and you get a view of New Zealand life that is probably seldom thought about by the traveller.

The Huka Falls (below) demonstrates another aspect of the raw power of Mother Nature in NZ. It is essentially the newest islands on the planet.

On the lighter side, we then went honey tasting. Hmmmm Manuka is nice, might be expensive, but is lovely. This was swiftly followed up be Lava Glass, watching Lynden Over blow a huge glad eye that had been commissioned to be part of an “illuminati” sign in someone’s livingroom!! Masonic or what? @maccagraeme then proceeded to get the heavy sales pitch for a half hour, with a personal tour of the shop. $500 wee glass vase anyone?

From there was our last hike across the Thermal Explorer Highway, aka SH5. Putting it frankly our Glenshee, Applecross and such roads don’t have a patch the last stage of SH5. This was alpine in nature and somewhat alarming when attempting it in an automatic 4 berther. A short lunch pit stop showed off some beautiful, and well hidden, waterfalls.

Napier, once over the mountains and safely down the other side is on the Specific side of the island, in fact our site tonight looks past that tree and out onto the vast expanse of the Specific. The town is famed for it’s Art Deco architecture, as i am reliably informed by @maccagraeme, that it was rebuilt in the early 1930s after, yes you guessed it, an earthquake.

So here i am, on the edge of the Specific, literally, in an earthquake zone. Oh i will sleep well.


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