Virginia Lake in Whanganui: A very nice early morning walk around the lake. But they seem to have a serious problem with algae (and thousands of ducks, swans, gooses and other birds) and the resulting smell.
We chose the northern route over to the East Coast. It’s about the longest way you can go, but it definitely pays off. Amazing scenery and empty roads. Only the big volcano hid in the clouds.
Te Mata Peak near Hastings, a great reward after a veeeery long drive: