Easter Monday – 21st April
Anne here . . .
So we are back on the tourist trail again. In fact we are on the “Thermal Explorer Highway” from Napier to Taupo. Fantastic weather which is lucky as the scenery is unexpectedly awesome and breathtaking. Just as splendiferous as anything in the South Island, and that was totally awesome.
Today is a serious competitor for the title of “best day so far . . .”
The scenery that we passed through was just awesome, high, high hills with the steepest sides that you have ever seen, usually covered by trees, and plunging into deep ravines. Oohs and aahs from me every few minutes. Just the last few miles into Taupo were flatter, farming plains.
Then Lake Taupo itself. I instantly fell in love with the Lake. It is just beautiful, a deep blue colour with mountains all around and lots of people just enjoying themselves.Then we meandered off to Huka Falls, not quite sure what to expect but they were awesome. Sorry, I am running out of superlatives. Literally ice blue water rushing through the narrowest of gorges. It is not the height of the falls that is so impressive but the speed and volume of the water and the piercing ice white and blue colour. It is popular but there are several excellent viewing points.
An aside: I love the way that New Zealanders don’t charge for car parking at tourist sites and often don’t charge an entrance fee for natural wonders, maybe just a donations box. We have always been happy to donate willingly.
Finally we stopped at “Craters of the Moon”. Definitely worth adding a geothermal boardwalk to your “things to do before I die bucket list”. Although there is no big hype here, in fact it is quite understated. It is run by a charitable trust and is a 45 minute boardwalk around loads of craters and holes in the ground that are producing geothermal steam. It is totally eerie but at the same time awesome to see all these wisps, puffs, clouds and columns of hot steam coming out of gorse and bracken covered ground. We were fascinated, as were all the other tourists.
The only downside of the last few days is that I seem to be deliciously tasty to mosquitos unlike Paul. Only DEET jungle formula seems to deter them!