Fine weather, weekend off work.... sounds like a road trip waiting to happen. The trouble is, I've been most places around the Bay of Plenty, so I didn't have much enthusiasm to see anywhere again. There had to be somewhere new, and there was - Murupara. The highway to Murupara is one of the best ones I've driven on in New Zealand. Smooth seal, long straights, and nice scenery! Along the way we took a detour to Kaingaroa Village, in the middle of the Kaingaroa Forest. This town used to have a population of around 1,500 people. Now it's quite barren, with many abandoned houses, overgrown sections and smashed windows. Even the road signs were bent and rusting.

We were driving in the middle of the day, so I didn't get any amazing landscape shots, but here are some snaps from along the way.