Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Taupo and Rotorua

In our whistle-stop return tour of the North Island, we stopped at a little town called Taupo. It's home to New Zealand's biggest lake which drains into Huka Falls. They were not quite Niagara Falls, but pretty impressive.

We also watched Aratiatia Rapids fill up after the floodgates of the dam above were opened. It wasn't the tsunami we'd expected, but a steady filling up of rock pools. The highlight of the day was swimming in a local hot stream which was very relaxing.

That night we had to sleep in the back of the car as Andy broke a tent pole. Luckily, there were plenty of plumbing shops around. One piece of copper piping later, the broken pole was splinted and the tent is now ready for Australia.

The following day we visited Rotorua and the Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland. Its star attraction is the Lady Knox Geyser which is set off at 10:15 every morning by applying soap (or 'surfactant' as the guide liked to use).

Jen's favourite was the sensational champagne pool with its bottle-green water and bright orange shelf.

Andy was greatly fascinated by the glooping, boiling mud pools just outside the park. We watched a large, female Dutch tourist beach herself on a fence as she tried to get close to one super-hot mud geyser. Some people have no sense of self-preservation...


uncle John and auntie Liz said...

We'd rather watch the mud pools than Andy and the bungy jump, much more relaxing !!!

Uncle John and Auntie Liz xx