Since we spent three days in Rotorua, I do have more stories, but if I don’t write out the other places, I’ll forget them all. Pictures are worth a thousand words! Mostly up to date, here.
So, after three days in slightly sulphurous smelling (but sunshiney!) Rotorua, The Boy and I hopped back on the bus headed for Taupo. On our way down, we stopped by the mighty Waikato river (New Zealand’s largest!) for a photo.
I couldn’t get over the colour of the water: that Caribbean sort of bright blue-teal. So pretty. So cold. So fast! This part of the river feeds the Huka falls, which are most notable just because so much water is being forced through such a narrow river space. Very pretty.
After that, it was back on the bus to Taupo, a lakeside town with gorgeous blue skies, and a sort of resort feel to it: like cottage country, but a little less laid back. Very pretty. A popular fun fact for Lake Taupo is that you could fit the entirety of Singapore in the space it takes up. I thought it more interesting to note that from the north shore you can see Mount
Doom Ngauruhoe in the misty distance, the middle child among siblings Ruapehu (the big one) and Tongariro (which it is actually growing out the side of, if volcanoes can be said to be “growing”).
Taupo also had a thermal springs park, and I’d originally hoped to head out there. (After all, what is the point of being in the most geothermally active (populated) part of the country if you’re not going to take advantage of the hot springs?) Being a fan of boat tours, however, The Boy suggested we take up a sailing tour of Lake Taupo. This was also awesome, because of some carvings done about thirty years ago into some cliff faces that are only visible by water. So down to the docks we headed!
We hopped aboard the Fearless, welcomed by Cap’n Dave, and it wasn’t until we were comfyly settled and looked up that we realized just what we had done.
Happily, it turned out that Dave is a benevolent pirate, and out we headed! As we got further out onto the lake, we saw rain clouds ahead of us, and started crashing into the meter-and-a-half waves. It was a rocky, windy, wet ride! Sadly, it was too rough for us to keep going to the carvings, but we did get to try steering on the way back. (Hey Alex: sailing’s not so hard! :p) I was a little disappointed (cold, wet and no carvings vs comfy soak in hot springs? Hmph) but happily our driver had recommended a local pub which served pretty good, quite cheap food and, best of all, had trivia that night. Sold!
The trivia ran a little ridiculously late, which is a shame because our group was kicking ass. Still, with an early start the next morning, we headed back to the hostel for some glorious (best beds thus far on our trip, that hostel — if you’re in Taupo, choose the YHA; it’s awesome) sleep.