Wednesday dawned fine and clear and we loaded “her ladyship” with all the fruit required for a 4 day expedition – heaps of food- 2 bottles of fine wine – blow up pillows – and the ipad- just a few examples of the relative luzury of taking a kayak capable of a huge load. She had to be loaded at the water edge as she was too heavy to lift- just a slide launch to get her onto the water.
We camped at Tapuaenui site on the first day and did a 2 hour walk to Whanganui hut and back for a looksee. Day 2 saw us head up the lake and battle a 20-30knot gale thru the “narrows” We inched our way forward and finally through to calmer more sheltered waters. We found a great free camp site in the middle of the bush and had a fire to keep us warm through the evening. Better to spend an evening by the fire than retire to the tent at dark.
For the next 2 days we explored the remaining arms of the lake spending our last night at the new hut at Waiharuru with a small group of walkers and had an entertaining evening in the heated hut.
We took the challenge of driving out via Ruatahuna to Rotorua – some potentially awkward narrow sections on the cliff faces of the lake where it is only wide enough for one vehicle. Traffic was slight and we had no narrow escapes ( OK 1 narrow escape). A spectacular road.