Once off the ferry we wanted to head straight for Taranaki and capture the lonely mountain.  Our plan was slightly diverted when we realised someone had tried to steal our bikes, resulting in a special part having to be ordered in for Kirsty's bike.  We stayed in Lower Hutt and while waiting for the bike part, I was able to get some riding done.

Typically the weather followed us all the way to Taranaki and the view we wanted of Mount Taranaki was blocked by clouds and heavy rain on arrival.  Regardless of the weather we still visited the spectacular Dawson Falls.

Having given up on the weather we made our way to Waitomo for the famous glow worm caves.  Unfortunately, no photos are allowed throughout the caves but the glow worms were spectacular. It is a must do if you are in the area.  We were guided through the dark cave along to a small boat which was manoeuvred via the guide pulling a series of ropes.  It was fascinating seeing the water lit up by the reflection of the worms and gave a feel of star gazing.

Bridal Veil Falls was next and the weather finally subsided for us.  The falls are 55 metres high and drop magnificently into an epic scene.

A quick stop to view the Raglan beaches and they didn't disappoint.

We made our way over to Rotorua and were told to stop by the naturally heated hot water of Kerosene Creek.  As you walk through the short trail to the 2 metre waterfall it feels like a resort you should be paying for but instead a free place to relax and enjoy, nestled in the bush. 

When we picked up the part for Kirsty's bike I was asked if I knew a guy from Inverness called Mike, who turned out to be a guy I rode the local trails with back home.  Mike took us for a tour of the Wakawerera forest trails - mountain bike heaven!

A swim and jump into the Blue Lake was welcomed after a couple of days riding in the New Zealand heat.

The Redwoods were great to ride through but hiking gave us a neat perspective of the scale of the trees.

Rotorua, another place to add to our huge list of places to revisit.  Now we move towards the north and far north.

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