North Island New Zealand: Hastings to Rotarua

After breakfast, Mark went golfing and I drove the campervan into Napier. I walked around a bit and got my nails done. I didn’t find anything during the bit of shopping that I did, but I thought Napier was a super cute vacation town.

Mark enjoyed golfing at Hastings Golf Club. He walked all 18 holes and it was a beautiful day to do so. I enjoyed a nice salad and hot chocolate while I waited for him to finish up. Then, we considered showering there, but we needed power that night so we knew we’d be at a Holiday Park.

Before the long haul towards Rotorua, we did some necessary pit stops: gas station and grocery store. We bought a fully cooked chicken & decided that that should cover a few meals. Then, we got some soup, basic essentials.... and more salami and cheese, of course! 

So beautiful! Oh, what I would do to be back there right now...

We made the mutual decision to take the route that wouldn’t take us back through Taupo. Instead, it would be “the road less traveled,” which eventually got us to Te Urewera National Park. We didn’t think it would tack on too much time, but we also didn't anticipate the winding road or just how dark it would be on this less traveled adventure. So, 3 hours into the trip, we decided not to drive through the National Park until morning.
We pulled into Waikaremoana Holiday Park, the last place on our map to stop just on the outskirts of the park. We knew it was on a lake, but it was too dark to see anything. The office was closed, it was raining, and Mark had a headache. I prayed that the sites were running on the honor system and all we had to do was plug in. 
To add to the stress of everything, the sites were soggy and we almost got stuck. Thank goodness one of the sites was close enough to a paved incline where we could park and stretch our power cord to the outlet. In the end, my prayers were answered and we were powered up for the night! Whew!

I made chicken, red pepper, zucchini, and mushroom stir-fry for dinner. I'm not going to lie... I was pretty impressed with my camping feast! (I referenced the meal as "Kassie's Kamping Kitchen" on Instagram and Kacey was nice enough to point out that I just called my kitchen "KKK" Ugh.. Whoops!) Anyway, we enjoyed our dinner while listening to the rain and called it a night. We both decided to shower early in the morning so we could be back on the road at a respectable hour. 6:30 AM was coming fast!

We managed to wake up early and took a nice, hot shower (in a freezing bathroom) and were able to finally enjoy our surroundings for a second. The staff at the Holiday Park were so friendly and we really appreciated all the amenities! Thankfully, we were able to grab some necessities (like snacks) before we got back on the road around 8:30. We had 3 hrs of National Park to get through, but we were re-energized and up for the adventure!

My Brown Paper Packages

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