Destination of Choice: New Zealand – North Island
No worries about the first night’s accommodation. We enjoyed ourselves in New Zealand. Everything else was good. The suggested change to drive from Wellington to Lake Taupo was awesome – the drive was easy, scenery was good and the sunset was lovely at Lake Taupo. We did not manage to take the cruise at Huka Falls but the view of Huka Falls was still spectacular.
We also took your suggestion to drive up to Te Mata Peak and we loved that – fantastic view, not forgetting Cathedral Cove. We did not take the cruise, but did the trek to and from Cathedral Cove. We were really lucky as we were there when the tide was low, so we were able to walk down the beach and through the cove. The Hobbiton Movie Set tour and Lord of the Rings tour were very enjoyable.
We did not take the coastal route between Gisborne and Napier as the weather for that day was some showers so, we couldn’t really compare it to the Great Ocean Road. However, the drive inland was pleasant too.
As for dining suggestions, we didn’t use all, but there were 2 restaurants which you’ve recommended in the travel guide were so good and I think they are must-try places – USSCo Bar & Bistro in Gisborne and The Brantry Restaurant in Taupo. Brew in Tauranga and Estuary’s Restaurant in Napier were not too bad.