Another pre-sunrise start and a quick drive back to the Cathedral Cove carpark for the sunrise (I didn’t trek down to the cove itself this time though)…. Again not the worlds best sunrise (due to cloud cover), but a spectacular spot… and nice to have the place to myself without tourists.

From Hahei beach I picked up a couple of french girls on their way to Hotwater beach, and then headed south planning on staying the night (maybe) at Rotorua.  I traveled through Tairua (had breakfast with a professional photographer who was out the day before taking photos of a power boat race), Hikau (where I picked up a Maori guy on his way to Waihi), Tauranga (which was crawling with American tourists because three large cruise ships had pulled into port),before stopping at Okere Falls just outside of Rotorua and chatted with some Kayakers paddling the falls there (level 3/4).

Arrived at Rotorua before lunch – but was not particularly impressed… it seems pretty  old fashioned, and busy with tourists…. but I can sum it up in two words – “smelly and boring” – which I am sure doesn’t do it justice… but from a photographers perspective not too much going on I think…

It wasn’t until I was on the way out of Rotorua (South to Tapuo) that I discovered Te Pauia – which was definitely worth a visit.  After a couple of hours here (mostly waiting for the Geyser to blow and chatting to the guides), I headed on to Taupo (via Huka Falls) for the night.