We woke up to torrential rain and a howling gale, but it sure was nice to watch it from inside the hut! The Waihohonu hut is the newest hut on the Tongariro Northern Circuit, and it sure is nice and spacious (but loud - you can't close the doors without slamming them, and there is no acoustic tile on the ceiling, so it echoes throughout the hut). The weather cleared by the time we left, so we headed off up and over the hill. The wind was still blowing pretty ferociously, so we didn't linger on the mountain. We only stopped briefly a couple of times until we got to Taranaki falls, where we ate our last granola bar.
Shortly after that, we got to Whakapapa village where we had some food at the cafe (bacon and egg croissant for me, cappuccino and chocolate eclair for Ciel). We browsed through the great visitor center while we waited for our bus (www.alpinehotbus.co.nz - great service, they picked us up and dropped us off right where we are staying in Taupo).
Now we're off to get some of those fish and chips that I've been craving as we hiked around the volcanoes!