2010; we commenced our land tour of New Zealand by driving south fromAuckland to the Waitomo Caves. As soon as we could, we moved off the main roads ontothe scenic route and this was the way we operated for the next three weeks; we kept our exposure to traffic low; cruising sedately down the back roads.We elected to do a combination tour at Waitomo, first visiting the Aranui Cave, wherewe knew we’d be allowed to take photographs of the fine, needle like, stalactiteshangingdown from the roof. Then we moved on to the world famous Glow-worm Cave, where photography is discouraged and that is probably just as well because flash photography of glow-worms reveals nothing, you have to make a time exposure! The tour consists of a boat ride and takes place in almost complete darkness and the result is that you get toview the millions of tiny lights (produced by the Glow-worms), much resembling a finedisplay of stars onan exceptionally clear night. It was very beautiful and the tour wasvery well executed.Waitomo was also our first visit to a “TopTen” holiday park and we were veryimpressed with the facilities which werefirst rate; in fact this was such a good siteit would be nice to return there and dosome of the many other walks that are inthe area.From Waitomo, we drove east to Rotorua doing a southerly sweep and entering via theWaikite Thermal Valley and the Mud Pools at Wai-O-Tapu. Our camp site was the TopTen at the Blue Lake (Blue Lake Holiday Park), which whilst quite good, was not a patchon the previous one, we soon discovered that you pay a premium for lakeside camps andunless you are going afloat or swimming, they are best avoided. We did however, havegood access to Rotorua and spent a day in town visiting the fascinating Museum.Moving south we visited OrakeiKorako, a thermal area reputed to be one of the finest in the world. Asmall boat carries you across alake to where a path takes youaround the large, colourful silicaterraces to some geysers and afantastic natural cave with a poolof jade-green water.