A late start compounded by the loss of daylight saving. Our destination is Palmerston North or close so we are in good shape for catching the ferry tomorrow afternoon from Wellington.
Google maps has suggested a new route for us, to Te Awamutu, then on to Mangaturoto then around the west side of lake Taupo. This is a really excellent alternative with virtually no traffic and a surprisingly good quality surface. A great motorcycling route.
The lunch stop at Robert Harris at Te Awamutu was surprisingly good but our afternoon coffee stop at Turangi was a bust with nothing open at 3:30 pm. The latter really is a dead or alive place.
The Camelot motel in Palmerston North is pleasant enough and very near to the centre of town. It's something of a refugee from the heyday of the NZ motel circa 1965 but more than adequate none the less.
The restaurants however seem to be pretty much convinced that Sunday is not a night for eating out so they stay closed. The sole exception we found is the Lone Star restaurant whose unmemorable strap line is worth looking up. The foods ok but the 'hi guys', 'would you like a drink guys', 'have yous chosen yet guys' wears very thin but the end of the evening.
Back at the motel by 9 and a quiet nights sleep is pretty good.