Kiwi Experience Day 4 – Climbing to Taupo!
13th September 2012
Feeling cultural from the Maori Hangi and wowed by the Geothermal activities at Rotorua, it was back on the bus to head to the adventure capital of the North Island of New Zealand!
But first, we went to a little place just outside of Rotorua called Te Puia, New Zealand’s most well known Thermal Park. And we got some face painting done with the mud from the rock pools. Covered in war paint, we checked out the geysers, Maori Arts Crafts, kiwi bird house and lots of boiling mud..we didn’t put that on our faces otherwise we would have permanent war paint!
After that morning action, we climbed back on the bus for a little quick kip headed to the adventure capital called Taupo! As we descended the super volcano within, we could see Tongariro National Park in the distance and in all of its glory was Mount Ngauruhoe. Recognise it? It was used in the filming of Lord of the Rings as Mount Doom! Don’t cross Sauron here!
Just before we entered the city, we checked out one the best highlights it has to offer, Huka Falls. The ‘foam’ falls on the Waikato River is 11 metres high caused by a naturally blasted out channel from an earthquake. It was pretty powerful and you couldn’t help but wonder where the water was coming from!
Well, my friends, Lake Taupo has the answer. Visible from our journey down, we were greeted with the largest lake in Australasia that is big enough to hold the entire island of Singapore in! This was caused by the of the largest volcanic eruptions in the world that happened in 186AD. Ancient records from the Chinese and Romans tell us of dark red skies and climatic changes. You can do many things on this lake, jet boating activities, amazing cruises, rafting etc!
Further down the river, we stopped off to chill in the natural HOT springs feeding the river. After a good 20 mins, I jumped into the river itself. BAD IDEA! It was positively glacial!
Arriving at the hostel later and a quick shower later, I would soon realise what I let myself in for the next day…