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Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 35 - Tuesday 10th July - Surf Highway 45 and the Forgotten World Highway

We woke to a beautiful cloudless sky day but quite a cold start. It did mean we had full view of Mt Taranaki (the active volcano) in all it's majestic-ness towering over the rest of the countryside.

From our beautiful beach campsite we drove clockwise on the Surf Highway 45 around Mt Taranaki to New Plymouth.

Some of the highlights of this route were:

Passing the Maui Production Station which powers 85% of the population with natural gas.

Maui Powerstation

Mt Taranaki
 A detour to the Cape Egmont Lighthouse on the coast. Full views of the white peaked mountain, the turquoise sea, the green farmland and lighthouse was magnificent.

Cape Egmont Lighthouse and Mt Taranaki

Cape Egmont

Cape Egmont Lighthouse

Another view of Mt Taranaki

Mt Taranaki with the cloud starting to collect around its peak

Another detour to a shipwreck which we did not seem to find!!

Lunch at Back Beach just outside of New Plymouth looking over the Paritutu rock and Sugarloaf Marine Park. As the weather was so good it was our first opportunity to sit outside in just our jumpers to eat lunch :) (better than the UK summer, I believe?)

Sugarloaf Marine Park

Sugarloaf Marine Park and Back Beach

Back Beach

Back Beach

We only drove through New Plymouth to see a 45m high kinetic artwork on the sea front called the Wind Wand, but it was a little strange really. A 45m long red stick with a red ball on the top, perhaps it's better viewed at night?!

Our drive from New Plymouth took us slightly south to Stratford. Here streets are all named after Shakespearean characters.

From Stratford we picked up the Forgotten World Highway which travels inland through the beautiful green hilly country and passes many viewpoints along the way.

Scenes from the Forgotten World Highway

Views of farmland surrounding the Forgotten World Highway

Views from the Forgotten World Highway

We stopped in a place halfway along the Forgotten World Highway called Whangamomona!! Now only 20 people reside here and they declared themselves a republic in 1989 and have had various village animals as presidents. Passports are requested to be purchased at the local public house and hotel!!

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