Driving up to Auckland gives me the heebeegeebees. It's a long way, 500km or so- and at the end of it, there's a long stretch of motorway, and the Harbour Bridge to cross. But I made it, with the help of my GPS for the last section, where it very helpfully told me to keep right and stay right. Only scary bit was when I struck an X in the lane when I was heading onto on the bridge so I felt the need to change- but that might have just been meant for trucks. But I made it. Quite a different experience from the Wellington motorway. Anyhow, I am safely here, and can relax before the wedding tomorrow. Gave my sister a ring when I arrived and sounds like she is flying round doing jobs. But hopefully all will be calm in the morning.
I never took many photos on the way up- just wanted to get here safely. But here is one of Mt Ruapehu as I arrived in Waiouru. The top was covered in cloud, and in fact I drove through rain along much of the western route.
I have a lovely motel / hotel room overlooking the harbour. Once I left the motorway I drove down a quiet road to reach here. I have a 'garden' room so assumed I wouldn't see any harbour, but the first photo shows the view from my 'lounge'. Amazingly peaceful after the motorway hell! The other photos are also taken from the motel grounds.
It must have benn amazing here a few weeks back when the pohutukawa were flowering.