Rotorua, Kawakawa Bay and Firth of Thames landscape, images and Miranda Shorebird Centre bird photography
Kawakawa Bay and The Firth of Thames
The weather was bright and sunny for our drive south from Howick to Rotorua. We travelled along the coast road that skirt Kawakawa Bay and the Firth of Thames generally heading in the direction of Rotorua. The countryside although similar to north Auckland was a perhaps the little more mountainous, less populated and the minor road hugged the attractive looking coastline and therefore the drive was more pleasurable than that in the north.
Miranda Shorebird Centre
After Kawakawa Bay, the coast road eventually opens out into the flatter Firth of Thames area. Photograph shorebirds from the hide that overlooks the Firth of Thames, located 2 Km south of the Miranda Shorebird Centre. After visiting the hide, drive straight through to Rotorua along SH27 and SH5 as there is not much of interest on this route. The landscape is relatively flat with small towns, farms, pastures and grassland. SH5 does have a few forests close to Rotorua making it a more scenic.
Geothermal Photo Essays Images
Book a motel for a couple of nights and spend a day visiting the main thermal attractions south of Rotorua Wai-O-Tapu and Waimangu Volcanic Valley; I recommend visiting both.
On New Zealand's volcanic plateau, arrive around noon and have lunch before checking-into the motel leaving the afternoon free to visit Kuirau Park in the centre of Rotorua, for a stroll and to see the thermal activity. Next, drive around War Memorial Park and Government Gardens on the edge of the Lake Rotorua totake in more of the sights and then chill out in the motel before dinner.