Today we left Mount Maunganui for our drive to Lake Taupo. We marvelled at the very tall, very narrow hedged windbreaks that surround the kiwi fruit plantations and stopped for a photo at the Big Kiwi Fruit.
We travelled the Thermal Explorer Hwy down to Rotarua. It’s amazing to see huge plumes of steam just rising from the ground. You can see some of them from several kilometres away some are quite small just puffing up from a vent (or several) in a farm field. We chose not to go in to see the geysers at Rotorua. Admission was way too expensive and we managed to get good photos anyway. We’ve seen geysers before at Yellowstone and even though they are a bit different they all smell of sulphur and shoot steam out of the ground!
Arriving on the outskirts of Taupo we came across Taupo Bungy. We stopped to watch for a while and saw a couple of people take the plunge. Crazy! I definitely don’t think the human body was made to hang and bounce upside down from a rubber band.
We checked into our motel which was just out of town, but right on the lake, you couldn’t get any closer, and then headed back past the bungy jumping to the Huka Falls Walkway. We walked along the east bank of the beautiful Waikato River to the absolutely amazing Huka falls. There’s a hot stream not far from the start and Stephen went for a paddle. The river crashes spectacularly through a narrow chasm at Huka fall and drops about 10 metres. It’s an incredible sight and the water is an amazing colour, so clear and ice-blue.
Lake Taupo is beautiful and we are in a lovely spot. Our room is upstairs on the first floor and we sat on the balcony and watched the swans and ducks and glorious sunset. The only drawback was the guy in the room 2 doors down who, while we were sitting on the balcony, rang up and ordered a ‘naked massage with extras’ for him and his mate who were there on a business trip. The phone discussion was unbelievable as he told the ‘masseuse’ that he and his mate only wanted to look and not touch because neither of them were ‘that type of guy’ and then went on to ask about pricing and describe and order the extras they wanted. This was only a slight drawback though as we heard no more after the phone call ended and we continued to enjoy our view both that evening and over breakfast the next morning.